I think I was definitely still in holiday mode when I made this, you know when you allow yourself to drink in the afternoon and eat fried food and suddenly anything goes because your on holiday. Usually I will try and swap ingredients like butter, oil and cheese for lighter options when doing my Friday Challenges so that I don’t feel too guilty, without altering the core technique behind the dish of course, but today I followed the recipe exactly!
Mixed mushrooms gently sautéed in a sea of seasoned butter, brushed with sage and then drizzled with rich truffle oil. Gnocchi made from fluffy potatoes, egg and flour formed into little soft pillows and then all topped with some strong parmesan cheese and a hefty addition of black pepper…and I washed it all down with a crisp glass of white wine…. yup definitely still in holiday mode!!
This recipe is from Gino D’ Acampo’s cookbook “Buonissimo” and quite aptly it is situated in the “Romantico” section. I’ve cooked quite a lot from his books and everything has always been delicious! They are usually only relied upon when I want to cook something special or if I am trying to impress though, they are not “every day” cook books. You can buy the book at Amazon (here).
The first thing I noticed about my dough was the small lumps of potato which I hadn’t quite mashed enough so I would recommend firstly making sure your potato is almost over cooked and easily mashable, also maybe use a potato ricer as Gino suggests because then you will have a lovely smooth dough. I decided I could live with slightly lumpy and carried on without starting again.
The dough is rolled into a long thin log and then you slice it into small sections to create the individual gnocchi. I wasn’t very scientific with my sizing so you will see that where as Gino has beautiful little perfectly shaped uniformed gnocchi, I have slightly sorry looking lumps of dough. This could easily be solved with a little love and attention but that escapes me as it’s getting late and I want to finish cooking before the day light disappears.
I love cooking with a mixture of mushrooms, there’s something very visually pleasing about a rustic dish using wild or foraged mushrooms and they taste amazing too! I mixed in some cheaper closed cup mushrooms with my chanterelle mushrooms for cost and also so it would look nice. I also bought a big bunch of fresh sage but I only used a small amount and sage is a herb I don’t use too often so I will freeze the remainder.
Doesn’t this mushroom sauce just look amazing! That’s what I love about Gino’s recipe, the ingredients are so beautiful that simply cooked in some butter and sage the mushrooms are bought to life! The gnocchi is subtle enough to allow the mushrooms to shine and lift the whole dish.
I loved the fact that you know gnocchi is cooked when it floats to the top of the boiling water, no timer needed just sit and get ready to scoop them out when they float and then add them to the pan with the mushrooms. I tried a couple of the gnocchi just by themselves and I thought mine were a bit bland, they’d be nice with a flavour added into the dough, however for this dish they were perfect because any more flavour would have detracted from the mushroom sauce. I think as the month goes on I would like to try different flavoured gnocchi with a simpler sauce. Make gnocchi the star of the dish!
They were a weird texture, a mixture between dumplings and fresh pasta but with a little bit of a chew to them. I think next time I will make mine much smaller as they plumped up a lot when cooked and dominated each mouthful.
What I have learnt about Gnocchi: Well I had never cooked or tasted it before so I learnt how to make it and what it tastes like! I found it easier than I had expected and it’s made me want to try making actual pasta soon! One thing I will remember next time I make gnocchi is to make sure the potato is very well cooked and put through a ricer or mashed thoroughly. Also taking the time to make sure they look neat and tidy will be worth it if I make this for guests!