Lemon gnocchi – Part II: The cooking begins!

21 02 2008

After hanging out in the fridge all afternoon, my gnocchi were ready to be cooked – or at least I hoped so! I started the lemon butter sauce – super easy – and started boiling some salt water in a large pot. When the water was boiling and ready, I was actually excited to dump the pasta in, but then I started to worry!

The recipe said that I needed to drop the gnocchi into the boiling water, wait until they rose to the top, and then cook them for one more minute. This is where I started to panic a bit. What would I do if they didn’t rise? Was I supposed to wait one minute after the last gnocchi rose to the top? I ultimately decided to just plop them all in and hope for the best.

As I hovered over the pot, the gnocchi miraculously started popping to the top!  I was thrilled that they were doing what they were supposed to do. I decided to relax a bit and wait until the majority of the gnocchi rose to the top, and then wait one more minute, as suggested by the recipe.

Here are my little beauties rising to the top:

After I drained the pasta, I pan seared them a bit and then gently tossed them in the lemon butter sauce. I couldn’t help myself, and I snuck a taste before Brett tried them – you know, just in case they were horrendous tasting.

The finished product:

Overall, I thought they were tasty – soft but a little crisp thanks to the pan searing. The lemon butter sauce was rich, so I was glad I didn’t use it all, and I skipped the scallions and topped my gnocchi with some romano pecorino cheese. Yum!

Meyer Lemon Gnocchi
Food & Wine, March 2008

1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
3 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Snipped chives, for garnish
Bottarga, for garnish (optional)


– In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pan; shake over moderately high heat until dry.

– Working over a large rimmed baking sheet, rice the hot potatoes in an even layer. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the salt and pour over the potatoes. Sprinkle the flour over the potatoes and stir gently just until a dough forms.- Gently roll the dough into four 1/2 inch thick ropes. Using a sharp knife, cut each rope into 1/2 inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges. Transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

– In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the 1 stick of butter, a few pieces at a time, until the sauce is creamy. Warm the sauce on low heat if necessary. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt.

– In a large pot of salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then cook them for 1 mintue longer. Gently drain the gnocchi, toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and transfer to a baking sheet until cool.

– In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add half of the gnocchi and cook in a single layer over high heat until browned on the bottom, 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and gnocchi.

– Reheat the sauce; pour it over the gnocchi and fold gently with a rubber spatula until they are evenly coated. Transfer to a platter and garnish with chives. Grate the bottarga on top, if desired. Serve.




One response

25 02 2008
Mom F.

Mmmm! These look delicious. I like the idea of browning them in the skillet and adding the cheese on top. Maybe you can make them for us some day. Hint hint.

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