Foolproof homemade potato gnocchi tossed with fresh summer vegetables and a lighter cream sauce.
Acid flashbacks vs. gnocchi flashbacks.
(Not that I know anything about the former other than what can be found on Wikipedia. But we all know that’s the gospel truth. So.)
Whereas acid flashbacks have no plausible biochemical explanation given the relatively short half life of lysergic acid diethylamide in the blood, I can pinpoint the exact date and time at which gnocchi-making became imprinted in my mind as something to be dreaded, feared, and certainly not to be attempted lest you have at least eight hours of your life to devote to it, none of which you will ever get back.
Not to mention that while acid flashbacks can contain both positive and negative elements, my gnocchi memories are kind of like one of those repeating dreams where you find yourself naked in front of everyone you know, except in this one you are naked and they’re pelting dense potato rocks at you that you’ve spent all day toiling over.
And now you understand why it has taken me five years to even attempt to think about making these again.
I probably wouldn’t ever have done it, except that The.Boy chose this recipe from my pinterest board as his recipe of the week, and I refuse to let him think even for a second that there’s anything in this world I can’t make.
That, and I love a good challenge.
I’m not sure whether it was Heidi’s recipe or the fact that I am now an older, wiser, more experienced cook, but this whole meal came together in an hour and it was absolutely delicious. The gnocchi were pretty much balls of fluff that were just a hint smoky from the smoked paprika that I had folded into them, a flavor that paired perfectly with the cream sauce and crisp summer vegetable accompaniment.
So while I can’t say for sure that I’ll never have another mildly traumatic gnocchi naked dream again, I am fairly certain that they’ll be interspersed with daydreams about this dinner and all of the potato pasta meals that are to come.
A gnocchi for every season? Hey, a girl can
hallucinate flashback dream, can’t she.
- 1½ lb Russet potatoes
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek, white parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered and chopped
- 1 lb sugar snap peas, coarsley chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups half and half
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ cup basil, thinly sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400. Scrub the potatoes and poke all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until fork tender. Slice in half lengthwise and let cool.
- Scoop out the potato flesh with a spoon and press through a potato ricer. Measure out three cups of the potatoes onto a work surface. Sprinkle with salt, smoked paprika and drizzle the egg yolks over them. Dust with ½ cup flour. Use a bench scraper to gently fold the flour and yolks into the potatoes.
- Dust the dough with the remaining ¼ cup flour and parmesan cheese. Again, use the bench scraper to fold the flour and cheese into the dough. Press into a ball and then fold and knead it with your hands for two turns.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour. Break the dough into eighths and then roll each into a ¾ inch wide rope. Cut into 1-inch pieces with a knife and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Place baking sheet in the fridge until ready to use.
- For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the leeks and zucchini cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the sugar snap peas and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until snap peas become a bit tender, but still crisp. Add the half and half. Cook for 5 minutes or until sauce has reduced by half. Mix in parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another minute so that parmesan cheese can melt and everything is heated through.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the pot and cook just until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the skillet with the sauce. Add the basil to the skillet and fold in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.