• Paul

Nice to Gnocchi

Updated: Jul 24, 2021


Gnocchi in a creamy pesto
Do not operate heavy machinery after consuming. You may experience drowsiness.

I think the first time I had gnocchi was during college. After all, that’s a time in your life where you’re expected to experiment with new things! I was at a party, different foods were being passed around...you know how it is.


For most of my life gnocchi wasn’t something that was ever served for dinner. As a younger Viking I’d sometimes see it on the menu at Italian restaurants, but was never really curious enough to find out what it was. Probably because silent Gs seem strange and unnatural to me.


When I finally did get around to trying it in my collegiate abandon, I was pleasantly surprised. Gnocchi are like little fluffy pillows of pasta, but not in a weird kind of way. They’re perfect little delivery systems for a good sauce that will completely coat them and not just go draining to the bottom of the bowl. And even though I’ve known for a while now how delicious gnocchi is, I rarely ever have it. Why? I have no clue. Every time I have it, I really enjoy it.


For those of you not in the know about gnocchi, they’re made from either potato or ricotta and are actually considered dumplings, not pasta. However, I’ve mostly seen them used the same ways as you would pasta. Also, since I haven’t made gnocchi from scratch yet (#goals), we’re going to be more focused on making a delicious cream sauce with some herbs and sundried tomatoes for them to get friendly with.


Viking’s note: As with a lot of dishes that I make, like my meatball stroganoff I tend to make them so that they are modular and different pieces can be repurposed and/or leftovers end up better. The herb mixture and sundried tomatoes can be done well ahead of time and have other uses. Also, if you were to use some rigatoni, rotini, or other robust bite sized noodle instead of gnocchi, you’re probably not going to be too upset with the result.


Herbal Essences


1 cup of rough chop parsley

1 cup of rough chop cilantro

2-3 cloves garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

1 ¼ in slice of medium yellow onion

⅓ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper


Truth is, I have no idea what to call this. It’s not really a pesto, chimichurri, or gremolata. But one thing I’ve learned is that if you take a bunch of leafy herbs and throw them in a food processor with some garlic, decent olive oil, and maybe a few other goodies, it’s probably going to be delicious.



Pesto
If those ingredients only knew what was about to happen to them...

Oh, and it’ll keep a couple days in the fridge so you can use it on other things like steaks and chicken and such.



Steak with herbs
Told Ya!

To make it, pretty much just throw everything in a food processor with the chopping attachment and let it run after pulsing a few times to get it going. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times with a spatula. The spatula is key, because what do we say to the emergency room? “Not today!”


Keep in mind that you may need to add a little more or less oil to get the right consistency. I usually start with 2 Tbsp and then add in more as everything gets chopped more and more fine. But what is the right consistency?! Think more spreadable than pourable and definitely not drizzleable. But as always, this dish is your world, you can make it whatever you want. And plus Julia Child talked frequently about not worrying so much when you mess up in the kitchen. So that’s something to consider.


Either way, don’t forget to season to taste before you put it in a sealed container in the fridge for later.



pesto
But first, admire your work