Friday, 4 July 2014

Roasted Garlic, Broccoli and Parmesan Gnocchi

Roasted Garlic, Broccoli and Parmesan Gnocchi

Every time I make Gnocchi, I'm run over by treasured childhood memories of my grandma, aunt and I in the kitchen. We made delicious potato dumplings together and I usually got the best job of all: pressing the fork into the little potato balls!
My family and I are now thousands of miles away from each other but every meal I cook makes me feel a little bit closer to them. 
This past Sunday I decided to go a little bold and alter my old family's recipe. I came up with a flavorful Roasted Garlic, Broccoli and Parmesan Gnocchi recipe. A delicious one, sure to seduce it's way into becoming a family favorite.
Although it may sound a bit complicated, it's very easy to make, can be made in larger quantities and frozen for a convenient meal on a busy day. 
I served these delicious potato dumplings with a light, simple sauce so it doesn't shadow the tasty flavors contained within them. 

Roasted Garlic, Broccoli and Parmesan Gnocchi

Preparation time: 2 hrs
Yield: 4 portions

  • 1kg Potatoes
  • 250g All-purpose flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 150g Broccoli (only florets, no stalk)
  • 100g Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 Nutmeg
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 70g Chopped onion  
  • 2 tbsp Chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp Chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Start by cooking your potatoes in water, skin on, until soft (about 30 minutes). In the meantime, heat your oven to 350 F (175 C) and in it, roast your whole garlic cloves, also with the skin on, for about 30 minutes. 

Steam the broccoli florets for about 10 minutes. When they've cooked, remove them from the steam pan and chop finely. Set aside. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the water, peel and mash them along with the now roasted garlic cloves. Set the garlic mashed potatoes aside to cool. When that happens, add the chopped broccoli, Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp of salt, nutmeg and 1 egg. Mix everything together with a fork and start to add the flour, you will need to mix with your own hands at some point. My tip: add a little bit of flour at a time so you can test out the consistency of your Gnocchi.

You don't need to actually knead the dough, just work it until everything is uniform. Then you are ready to start forming your dumplings. There are a few ways you can go about it but my favorite is to grab a hand-full dough and with your two hands, roll it against your work surface, slightly pressing it so you end up with a snake. Then, with a knife, cut pieces of roughly 1/2 in (1.5 cm) and form indentations with a fork on each piece. Set the formed Gnocchi aside, on flour dusted baking sheets. 

On a large pan, bring water to boil (you will use it to cook the Gnocchi).

In the meantime, heat up the butter on a large skillet. To it, add the onion and let it cook until softened and translucent, then add the chopped tomatoes, parsley and lemon juice. Turn off the stove and set aside. 

You can now start cooking the delicious dumplings. I usually drop 25 dumplings at a time in the cooking water. When they rise, they are ready, you can scoop them out and throw them in the skillet containing the sauce. Repeat this process with all your dumplings. 

To finish, top Gnocchi with fresh basil and serve! Be ready, everyone will be asking for seconds! ;)

  • You might need more flour to dust your working surface when forming the Gnocchi.
  • If you want to freeze them, you don't cook them in water. Form the dumplings, set them on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them. Once frozen, you can re-arrange them to smaller containers. When you want to use them, they come right out of the freezer into the pot of boiling water. 

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