Gnocchi alla Romana

I adore gnocchi. Have had ’em made with potato and with ricotta, and they are delicious no matter what sauce adorns them. But I ran across Gnocchi alla Romana in the Williams-Sonoma catalog this weekend, and I have to try this polenta-like version — it looks amazing!

If you want something a little more substantial and less fussy than the usual gnocchi, this will stick to the ribs and also be a great foil for meatballs with sauce. Thanks to Saveur magazine for the recipe and photo!

Gnocchi alla Romana
Photo: André Baranowski

4 cups milk
1 1⁄2 cups semolina (about 8 oz.)
1 1⁄2 cups finely grated Parmesan or grated hard goat cheese
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 egg yolks, beaten
Kosher salt, to taste

1. In a 5-qt. pot over medium-high heat, bring milk to a simmer while stirring. Reduce heat to low; slowly whisk in semolina. Cook, whisking, until tender, 8–10 minutes. Whisk in 1⁄2 cup Parmesan, 4 tbsp. butter, and yolks; season with salt. Remove from heat.

2. Wet a 15″ x 10″ rimmed baking sheet with a soaked paper towel. Pour semolina mixture onto baking sheet; smooth surface with spatula to 1⁄2″ thickness. Let cool until firm, about 40 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 450˚. Using a knife, cut gnocchi dough in 2″ squares; transfer half of the squares to a buttered 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Sprinkle gnocchi with 1⁄4 cup Parmesan and dot with 2 tbsp. butter. Layer remaining gnocchi on top and sprinkle with 1⁄4 cup cheese and remaining butter. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Serve with remaining cheese.

SERVES 4

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Scrambled Pasta and Spring Greens

We are so lucky to have Peacefield Farm’s fresh spinach from their hoop house already! If you can find fresh spinach and herbs (perhaps your own?), you too can have a breath of springtime on a plate:

Who doesn't love creamy pasta for dinner?

A Straight from the Farm Original recipe

 

Ingredients
½ lb (half the box) spaghetti or linguini, cooked
3 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly
¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes
5 large eggs (or 7 egg whites)
½ C. grated goat Parmesan, plus more for serving

1 cup fresh goat cheese
1 t. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 C. (packed) mache, washed and trimmed
1 C. chopped sorrel or 3 Cups chopped spinach
½ C. finely chopped basil leaves*
*You can also use frozen basil puree, frozen into cubes.  One cube, thawed, worked perfectly.
Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the garlic, green pepper and red pepper flakes until the vegetables are tender and just barely starting to brown at the edges.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, parmesan, fresh goat cheese, salt and pepper.  If using thawed basil puree, add it to the eggs and whisk well to combine.
Place the cooked pasta, mache and sorrel in the skillet and toss with tongs to get everything combined.  Pour over the egg mixture and toss until eggs begin to set up.  You may need to scrape the bottom of the skillet with the spatula to lift the eggs up a bit.  If using fresh basil, add it soon after the eggs and continue to toss to combine.
When eggs are set to your liking (about 4-5 minutes), remove skillet from heat and serve pasta with extra Parmesan.  Good reheated gently in the microwave.
(serves 6)

Tagliatelle in Walnut-Mushroom-Tempeh-Chevre Sauce

This main dish is perfect for Meatless Mondays or Lenten Fridays. It comes from a great European food blog, and is savory, saucey and satisfying.  Walnuts and pasta make a quite addictive  flavor combination. If you prefer, you can substitute meat for the tempeh (fermented tofu).

Serves 2

Ingredients

200 g (7 oz.) tempeh, cut into small cubes
60 ml (1/4 cup) soy sauce

50 g (1/2 cup) walnut halves
120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 cloves garlic

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)

1 tablespoon olive oil
300 g (10.7 oz.) brown button or portabello mushrooms, sliced
1 large scallion, sliced into rings
2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste
fresh basil for sprinkling

150 g (5.3 oz.) tagliatelle, cooked according to package instructions.

Directions

Combine tempeh and soy sauce in a small bowl. Toss well and set aside.

In a food processor, combine walnuts, milk and garlic. Blend until creamy. You can also use an immersion blender for this. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Add tempeh and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown. Add mushrooms and scallion and cook for ten more minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Add paprika, thyme, and walnut mixture. Stir well. If the sauce seems to thick, add a couple of tablespoons water or milk. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Toss with pasta. Serve immediately and sprinkle with fresh basil.

 

Salmon Pasta with Gorgonzola

 

Who doesn't love a corkscrew noodle?

 

Every year we have a small batch of Goat gorgonzola, mostly by accident. Now I have a recipe to use it on! And since we adore salmon and pasta, this is really quite perfect. I might tone down the full creme to half and half (oh, the French LOVE their creme!). Hurry gorgonzola! BTW, you can add blanched or steamed vegetables if you like — peas, asparagus, baby zucchini rounds, what have you.

Pasta with salmon and Fourme d’Ambert (aka gorgonzola)

Ingredients:

2 cups pasta (farfalle, penne, macaroni)
4 thin slices smoked salmon
¼ lb mild Gorgonzola or Fourme d’Ambert
½ cup whipping cream (30% fat)
1 egg
2 tbs Parmesan
rock salt
fine salt
pepper

Directions:Cook the pasta (al dente) in boiling water with rock salt. Drain. Cut the slices of smoked salmon into thin strips. Set the oven to broil. Cut the Gorgonzola into small pieces and place into a saucepan with the cream and melt over low heat. Mix with an eggbeater. Remove from heat, add the egg yolk, season and mix. Add the pasta and strips of smoked salmon to this mixture. Mix and pour everything into a gratin dish and top with grated Parmesan. Bake for 5 minutes under the broiler so that the surface becomes a crispy golden brown. Serves 4.

Thanks to Cheeses of France!