pasta

Homemade Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Cream Sauce with Apples, Spinach and Pecans

I got the itch to make pasta and finally just did it. And I’m not going to lie or be modest…this pasta was amazing. Fluffy and exactly how you want gnocchi to be. Credit goes to Smitten Kitchen for the secret: using a cheese grater.

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I know these few look cute and wrinkly like traditional gnocchi but I soon got impatient and stopped doing the fork-rolling because it was getting close to 8 pm and as you know, Bachelor comes on at 8 pm so, yeah. Once the pasta was made, I made a quick béchamel and added gorgonzola, apples, pecans and a handful of spinach.

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Topped with dried cranberries.

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 Homemade Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

2 pounds russet potatoes
1 – 1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk (or milk + white wine)
2 ounces gorgonzola
salt and pepper
handful spinach
toasted pecans
1/2 apple, peeled and diced
dried cranberries

(From Smitten Kitchen) Preheat your oven to 400°F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, and bake them on a baking sheet for 45 minutes to one hour, or until they are fork-tender. For best results, turn the potatoes over halfway through the baking time. Let the potatoes cool slightly.

Peel the potatoes, and then pass them through a potato ricer, food mill or grate them over the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. Add the lightly beaten egg and the salt to the potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Add the flour to the potatoes a little at a time, using only as much as you need so that the dough will not stick to your hands. When the flour has been incorporated, bring the dough together with your fingertips.

Dump the dough and any remaining floury bits onto a slightly floured surface. Knead the dough as you would bread dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hand, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn, and repeat the process. Knead for about three or four minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and then divide it into 6 smaller balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the six pieces using your fingertips into a long rope about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces.

You can cook the gnocchi as it is now, but traditional gnocchi has ridges. To create the ridges, press each piece of dough against the tines of a fork. With your finger, gently roll the pressed dough back off the fork. This takes a little practice. If you find the dough sticking to the fork, dip the fork in flour before you press the dough against it.

Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured or parchment-lined dish. If you’d like to freeze them for later use, do so on this tray and once they are frozen, drop them into a freezer bag. This ensures that you won’t have one enormous gnocchi mass when you are ready to cook them.

To cook the gnocchi, place them into a pot of boiling and well-salted water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top.

(From me) To make béchamel sauce, melt butter in a skillet. Add flour and whisk until light brown color. Slowly add milk in while whisking and continue whisking until sauce thickens. Add cheese and stir until completely melted. Add remaining ingredients, and cooked gnocchi to coat. Serve with cranberries. 

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