Here’s an ultra-rich spring time recipe that I made last night (and is based on a recipe from last month’s Saveur magazine, though I made a few slight modifications):
Boil two Russett potatoes (skin on and equalling about a pound) until they’re cooked through. Peel and put through a ricer or food mill. Add 1 1/4 cup AP flour, mix a little with your hands, then make a well in the middle and add 1 tbsp white truffle oil, 1 beaten egg and 3/4 tbsp salt. Knead with your hands until you’ve created a soft dough (careful not to knead too much or you’ll be left with a glutinous rock). Cut portions of the dough out and roll with your hands into a “rope”, cut and then roll with a fork to create individual gnocchi.
Place the gnocchi on a parchment lined sheet tray dusted with flour and freeze them. Once they’re frozen you can store the extras in a plastic bag (they freeze really well).
Everything else is pretty easy (not that making gnocchi is all that hard). I used fava beans and morels and would have used fresh peas if I could have found them. For the fava beans, peel, blanch and shock them or blanch, shock and peel them, whichever you prefer.
To make the sauce, I sauteed the morels with some sprigs of thyme, removed them from the pan, then added 1 pint of cream, brought to a boil then reduced by half, add the favas, morels and peas, season. To cook the gnocchi, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and boil them until they float. Toss in the sauce. That’s it.
I garnished with some chopped chives, yet another spring time flavor, though if I’d found ramps I would have sauteed those and layed them across the top for color and flavor.
This is by no means a dish for the faint of stomach. There are certainly ways to use much less cream, such as bringing a mixture of vegetable stock or nage with a little cream to a boil and reduced until it’s thickened. In fact if I were to make it again that’s exactly what I would do, just to reduce the amount of cream and lighten the flavor and texture up a bit.
I still have a fair amount of the gnocchi left over which I’ll be thinking about using in different ways over the coming weeks.
Tonight it’s duck fest which I’m looking forward to.