There is something very special about the marriage of creamy Gorgonzola and gnocchi, the mellowness and comforting feel of the gnocchi with the pungent gorgonzola melted on them. A beautiful harmony of flavors.
- To Make Basic Potato Gnocchi
- 6 large Idaho or russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of salt
- Dash of freshly ground white pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- About 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Grated Grana Padano cheese for serving (optional)
- Salt for the gnocchi pot
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock or pasta water) (see above)
- 1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, thawed
- 6 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
- 1/4 cup grated Grana Padano
Making the gnocchi:
Boil the potatoes in their skins about 40 minutes, until easily pierced with a skewer. When cool enough to handle, peel and rice the potatoes, and set them aside to cool completely, spreading them loosely to expose as much surface as possible to air.
Bring 6 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of the salt to a boil in a large pot. On a cool, preferably marble work surface, gather the cold potatoes into a mound, forming a well in the center. Stir the remaining 1 tsp. salt and the white pepper into the beaten eggs, and pour the mixture into the well. Work the potatoes and eggs together with both hands, gradually adding 3 cups of the flour and scraping the dough up from the work surface with a knife as often as necessary. (Incorporation of the ingredients should take no longer than 10 minutes–the longer you work it, the more flour it will require and the heavier it will become). Dust the dough, your hands, and the work surface lightly with flour and cut the dough into six equal parts. (Continue to dust as long as the dough feel sticky.)
Using both hands, roll each piece of dough into a rope ½” thick, then slice the ropes at ½” intervals. Indent each dumpling with a thumb, or use the tines of a fork to produce a ribbed effect. (This helps the sauce stick to the gnocchi).
For the sauce:
Bring a pot of boiling salted water to cook the gnocchi. For the sauce, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter, then add the cream and stock. Once the mixture simmers, add the peas. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook until reduced to a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the gorgonzola until it dissolves in the sauce. Keep the sauce warm while you cook the gnocchi.
Meanwhile, shake excess flour from the gnocchi and add to the boiling water (don’t crowd the gnocchi; cook in batches if necessary). Once the gnocchi rise to the surface, simmer until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove the gnocchi directly to the sauce with a spider. Toss the gnocchi in the sauce for a minute (add a little pasta water if it seems too tight), just to coat the gnocchi with the sauce, then remove from the heat.
Sprinkle with the grated cheese, toss and serve.