First – this recipe is delicious. It’s also fairly involved and time consuming, so make it when you have a fall evening to spend drinking wine, listening to music, and cooking away in your cozy kitchen. Second – this recipe is worth every moment you put into it. The soft, pillowy gnocchi melt in your mouth and the artichoke sauce is so, so good.
This recipe is from Edible Seattle’s “The Cookbook”, via Seattle’s Osteria la Spiga.
Prepare the Potatoes Peel two pounds of russet potatoes and cook in salted water until they’re soft. Process the hot potatoes through a ricer, directly onto your work area. Let them cool for 15 minutes. (While they’re cooling, you can work on the artichokes.)
Sprinkle salt over the potatoes. Break an egg over the potatoes, and then using your fingers, sprinkle 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup semolina flour. Knead the dough into a soft, workable consistency. Add a whisper more of flour if the dough seems too sticky.
Make the Gnocchi Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Work the dough into several long cylinders, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Dust the cylinders with flour to keep them rolling smoothly, but don’t flour them too much. Cut the cylinders into 1/2″ pieces with a sharp knife. Once it’s all cut, use your thumb or index and middle finger together, press down on each piece as you roll it towards you, curling it up around your fingers. After curling each one, dust lightly with flour and set on the lined baking sheet. Keep them separate from each other to to prevent them sticking together. Cover the sheet with plastic wrap while you make the sauce.
Make the Artichoke Sauce Prepare the artichokes by peeling away the outer leaves until you reach the tender yellow ones. Cut off the spiny tip of each leaf, peel away the dark green layer from the base, and stem with a paring knife or peeler, and slice off the stem. (We used a potato peeler to peel away the outer area of the stem. But the stem has lots of flavor, so cut the freshly peeled stem into 1/2″ chunks.)
Then, quarter the heart lengthwise, and remove the choke (which is the furry hairs) with a spoon. Slice the heart in half again (now it’s divided into eights) and plunge the pieces into a large bowl of cold water mixed with lemon juice.
Dice an onion and 2 cloves of garlic. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat some olive oil and saute the onion and garlic. Add most of a bunch of chopped parsley and sautee two to three minutes on high. Then drain the artichoke pieces and add them to the pan, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. Saute for several minutes. Add two cups vegetable stock. Cover the pan and simmer until the artichoke hearts are completely tender – about five minutes.
When the artichokes are tender, put the mixutre in a food processor and process until a few chunks remian and it’s largely smooth. Then put it back in the pan. Add 1 cup half and half and heat the sauce over low heat.
Make the Gnocchi Bring several quarts of salted water to a boil. Add half the gnocchi to the boiling water, and do NOT stir. When the gnocchi rise to the surface, let them cook about two more minutes. (This part is unusually fun – watching first one, then two, then many little pillows pop to the surface.) Strain and transfer to a large warm serving bowl. Cook the second batch.
Dress the first batch with 1/3 of the hot artichoke sauce, tossing carefully and gently. Strain the second batch of gnocchi, put them on top of the first batch, and repeat with half the remaining sauce. Garnish with the rest of the parsley and some parmesan. Put the rest of the sauce in a bowl for your guests to add to taste.
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cooked in salt water
- pinch of salt
- one large egg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 4 medium-sized artichokes
- juice from one lemon
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- leaves from 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup half and half
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