Potato Gnocchi with Chanterelle-Basil and Roasted Tomato Sauces
Washington State russet potatoes are the best for making these gnocchi. They are drier in texture and therefore require less flour in the dough, so the gnocchi are lighter in texture. A food mill is the best utensil for preparing the potatoes; a food processor should not be used as it will bring out too much starch.
- Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Fresh Tomatoes - 1 pound, peeled and seeded
- Virgin olive oil - 1/2 cup
- Tomato paste - 2 tablespoons
- Whole garlic cloves - 3
- Fresh thyme sprigs - 3
- Dried red pepper flakes - 1/8 teaspoon
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Gnocchi Dough
- Russet potatoes - 4 medium, skin on, baked, still hot
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons, room temperature
- Salt - 1/2 tablespoon
- Whole Eggs - 3
- Flour - 2 cups
- Chanterelle-Basil Sauce
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1 cup
- Chanterelles - 4 cups, cut in half if large
- Fresh Garlic - 2 tablespoons, minced
- Pine nuts - 1 cup, toasted
- Dry white wine - 2 cups
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh Basil Leaves - 30 to 40, whole
- Grated fresh lemon zest - 1 tablespoons
- Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup, freshly grated
To make the roasted tomato sauce: Preheat the oven to 500 F. Blanch the tomatoes briefly in boiling water, dip into ice water, and peel. Cut in half and squeeze out the seeds. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof saute pan. Add the tomato halves, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and chili flakes. Toss together, then transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the tomatoes are soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the stems from the thyme, adding the leaves back to the tomatoes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree; it will be thick. Set aside; keep warm.
To prepare the gnocchi: While the potatoes are still not, cut in half and scoop out the flesh, putting it into a food mill. Put the butter and salt in a large bowl and press the potatoes through the food mill into the bowl. Mix together with a spatula. Whisk the eggs together just to blend, then work the eggs into the potato mixture with a spatula until completely mixed and creamy. Gradually work in the flour to make a soft dough; the amount of flour will depend on the dryness of the potatoes. The dough should not be stiff.
Turn out the dough on a floured work surface and work by hand, adding additional flour until the dough is soft but no longer sticky. Press into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick.
Line a sheet pan with waxed or parchment paper. Dust the paper with flour. Cut the dough in strips and roll each into a log, approximately 1 inch in diameter. Cut the logs into 1-inch pieces and make an indentation in the top of each piece with the cutter or your finger. Place the pieces on the prepared sheet pan and let rest 10 minutes before cooking. Or, cover with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to cook.
To prepare the chanterelle-basil sauce: Using a large, flat saute pan, heat the olive oil until it begins to smoke. Add the chanterelles and toss. Add the garlic and pine nuts and toss the mixture together for 2 to 3 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the wine and stir up the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the wine by half in volume. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the basil leaves and lemon zest. Test the mushrooms; if they are not tender enough, add 1/2 cup more wine and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
To finish the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Put the gnocchi in the boiling water and bring back to a boil. Once the gnocchi float to the top of the water, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on towels. Put the cooked gnocchi in the pan with the mushroom sauce and mix together.
To serve: Spread puree on the bottom of individual plates. Divide the gnocchi and mushrooms among the plates. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the tops and around the edges. The gnocchi could also be served family-style on a large platter.