Make gnocchi extraordinary

Tribune News ServicePotato gnocchi are browned in a skillet after boiling, then tossed with a simple vinaigrette and garnished with arugula, sautéed mushrooms and shaved Parmesan.

E. Jason Wambsgans

Extra means more, as well as more than more.

Tired of sidekick duty, chiming in on extra-special and extra-clean, extra is going solo. “She’s extra,” adults should note, means excessive.

Snide isn’t a full-time gig. Extra still works its day job, cheering on adjectives, redoubling the efforts of nouns. It notes that gnocchi, delicious solo, are extra-delicious paired with extra elements, like spicy greens, toasted mushrooms and truffle salt. The combo adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

In a word, it’s extraordinary.


Servings: 3

For the gnocchi:

1 large (3/4 pound) russet potato, scrubbed

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground nutmeg

Up to 1/2 cup cake flour

For toasting:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup sliced white mushrooms

2 teaspoons rosemary, fresh or dried, chopped

For the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

11/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

11/2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

A little garlic mashed with salt

To finish:

3 ounces baby arugula

Truffle salt

Parmesan cheese, in a chunk

To make the vinaigrette, let the red onion mellow in the vinegar for 20 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, and set aside.

Stab the potato twice with a sharp knife. Bake at 425 degrees until tender when squeezed, 55-60 minutes. Alternatively, microwave until tender, 5-6 minutes. Halve the baked potato, and press through a potato ricer. Discard skin.

Drop the yolk onto the potatoes, scatter on 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grates of nutmeg. Stir with a fork, just to combine. Sprinkle on 2-3 tablespoons flour, and mix gently to form a soft dough, adding flour as needed — you may only need half the flour.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Slice crosswise into 1-inch segments. Flip pieces over a fork, tines resting on table.

Roll each gnocco down the back of the fork, pressing lightly, to imprint grooves.

Drop the gnocchi into simmering salted water in batches. Gnocchi will sink, then, in about 1 minute, float. Count 10 seconds. Scoop out with a slotted spoon, and cool on a kitchen towel.

In a wide skillet, heat the butter and 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Slide in the gnocchi and mushrooms; sprinkle with the rosemary. Toss until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Pull out with a slotted spoon, and toss with half the vinaigrette.

Toss the arugula with vinaigrette to taste. Heap on each of 3 plates. Spoon gnocchi and mushrooms on top. Sprinkle with truffle salt. Carve on some Parmesan curls.

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