Sunday, 11 December 2011

Beet Gnocchi

What could be better than gnocchi? Red gnocchi!
Molto bene, no?

This week our cooking club is celebrating all things red in A Study in Scarlet. (What can I say? I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan.)

And I immediately pounced on these lovely red gnocchi. Besides, beets were on sale. I can't resist a good sale on a big bag of beets. I even enjoy beet-stained fingers. They make me laugh. I feel like Lady Macbeth.
Of course, you could wear gloves - but what's the fun in that?

Serve these red gnocchi on a bed of baby spinach and you have yourself a very Christmassy looking dish. (Or, complement your beet-stained hands with a green sweater for the same red and green look.)

Buon Appetito!

Beet Gnocchi
adapted from Apples for Jam, by Tessa Kiros
for I♥CookingClubs, A Study in Scarlet

Stage one

3 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
1 medium beet, scrubbed and dried

Wrap each potato and the beet tightly in foil and roast until tender, about an hour at 400°F

Let cool until handle-able.

Stage two

Peel beet and purée in small food processor bowl or blender. Empty out into large bowl.
Cut spuds in half and press through a ricer into the bowl.

1 2/3 cups flour
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
good pinch kosher salt

Mix all together gently until combined.

Stage three

Scoop up a handful of the dough and roll out on lightly floured board, into a snake. (Just like playschool)
Cut your ¾ inch diameter snake (approx) into 1-inch pieces, either with a knife or a dough cutter.
With floured hands, shape each piece by gently rolling along a gnocchi board or the back of a fork. You want the little grooves for holding sauce.
Place each shaped gnocchi on a silpat-lined floured sheetpan.
Let gnocchi chill, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour.

Stage four

At this point I froze half of the gnocchi, as there are only two of us eating it. I layered them with wax paper in between.

To cook - place a large pot of water on the boil. Salt, just like pasta.
Place about 20 gnocchi in the water at a time and boil until they rise to the top.

Tessa serves hers with a rough pesto, I browned some butter with shallots and garlic, then added in parsley, lemon juice and zest, Parmesan cheese and black pepper. Delicious!

I like to sauté the gnocchi in the butter for a minute after it is cooked, just like pierogi.

However you serve yours - it is bound to be a hit!

Beet gnocchi would pair perfectly with natural organic wine !
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