Baked Potato Gnocchi with Sage, Spinach and Pine Nuts

I love watching Chopped on Hulu. One episode the chefs were given a baked potato as a basket ingredient. One of the contestants decided to make gnocchi with the baked potato. We had two baked potatoes we did not eat after we had pigged out on king crab legs the night before, so I thought that I would try my had at making gnocchi since we had the potatoes and I had never done it before.

As usual I researched using Google and found a highly-rated recipe by Tyler Florence. The problem was it calls for a ricer, which we don’t have up here (or back home for that matter) it also call for you to roll the gnocchi on a wooden gnocchi board which we didn’t have either.

Simply mashing the potatoes with a potato masher wouldn’t do. You want very fine grained potatoes. So the fall back is to grate them on the finest setting of your grater. This works much better if the potatoes are cold. To get the little grooves, which hold the sauce, roll each gnocchi on the tines of a fork.

There are several classic sauces that are traditionally served with gnocchi. We elected to make a browned butter, sage, spinach and pine nuts.

If you try this recipe, know that it makes a mess. Also get everything you will need out and ready to go ahead of time. You don’t want to be fumbling around with dough-sticky fingers messing everything up (like I did). Laura had to come rescue me several times. But it was fun and the results were very good.

 

Author: Jim Kirkley

Serves: 4

Baked Potato Gnocchi with Sage, Spinach and Pine Nuts


INGREDIENTS

2 large, baking potatoes
1 teaspoon, salt
1/2 teaspoon, baking powder
1 whole, egg
1 1/2 cups, unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 stick, butter
5 sage leaves
1 clove, garlic – crushed
2 cups, packed spinach
1/4 cup, pine nuts – toasted
Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Pierce the potatoes several times so that moisture can escape during baking. Bake the potatoes in a preheated 400 degrees F oven for 1 hour until fork tender. Peel the potatoes while they are still hot and press them through a potato ricer. Put the potatoes in a large bowl with salt, baking powder, and egg white. Add the flour a little at a time and mix with your hands until the mixture forms a rough dough. Do not over-work the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough for 1 or 2 minutes until smooth, adding a little bit more flour, if necessary, to keep it from sticking.
  2. Break off a piece of the dough and roll it back and forth into a rope, about the thickness of your index finger. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece down a wooden gnocchi board while pressing a small dimple with your finger. The gnocchi should be slightly curved and marked with ridges. This will allow the pillows to hold sauce when served.IMG_2181.JPG
  3. Boil the gnocchi in batches in plenty of salted water. The gnocchi are done about 2 minutes after they float to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon.
  4. Meanwhile, make your sauce: in a large saute pan, add your butter, sage, and garlic over medium heat
  5. Cook until butter has browned, stirring almost constantly
  6. Discard garlic and set sage leaves aside to drain over a few layers of paper towel
  7. Add the gnocchi into the brown butter, stir to combine
  8. Turn the heat up to medium-high and let the gnocchi saute in the pan for a few minutes, stirring often
  9. Add your spinach and pine nuts in with the gnocchi
  10. Stir until the spinach has wilted
  11. Serve with crumbled sage leaves and top with Parmesan cheese (optional) and black pepper

 

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