Gnocchi al Fondue

Recipe. Gnocchi. Gnocchi is a beloved pasta dish throughout Italy.  It is said to be the first traditional homemade pastas dating all the way back to the 17th century and is also referred to as the “la ricetta delle nonne”, because the Grandmother’s hold all the secrets to a truly delicious bowl of gnocchi.

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To prepare gnocchi it really takes the simplest ingredients and very little preparation and cooking time.  It looks harder than it really is and makes for an impressive first course to serve to any dinner guest!  Since the main ingredients are so simple: flour, egg, and potatoes – you can really pair these little Italian dumplings with a variety of sauces or even add different vegetables to the dough.  Some of the most popular gnocchi combinations are: pumpkin gnocchi, Sorrentine gnocchi, butter and sage, fondue or cheese gnocchi, shrimp and leeks, tomato ragu’.

Fontina Cheese Fondue Gnocchi

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Difficulty: low         Prep Time: 2 hours       Cooking Time: 6 minutes

Ingredients: (for 6-8 servings) 

2 lbs. of potatoes

2 1/2 cups of flour

1 large egg

pinch of salt

14 oz. of fontina cheese

20 oz. of whole milk

4 egg yolks

Gnocchi Preparation:

1. Boil potatoes – 30 – 40 minutes in salted water —do not add potatoes or salt until the water is boiling— once potatoes are boiled remove skins and grate or cut potatoes into thin slices.

2. Place flour in a bowl and add potato slices —-make sure the potatoes aren’t too wet, if needed dry excess water from being boiled with paper towels —- add to flour.   Once combined, mix in the egg at the center of the potato and flour mixture and mix all ingredients together – adding a pinch of salt.

3. Mix dough with hands until it becomes a unified ball.  Then cut small pieces about 3 inches long of dough and roll it out with hands horizontally on a floured surface, until forming a thin tube of dough –refer to picture above—.  Cut this line of dough into half-inch cubes.  **Hint: make sure not to flour your work surface too much otherwise the gnocchi will loose its elasticity — just enough flour so they don’t stick to the surface while you’re working and are able to roll easily**.  Set aside the cut half-inch cubes, gnocchi, and take another strip of dough and follow previous steps until all of the dough has been formed into small nuggets **Hint: the smaller the better**.

4. Cook gnocchi in boiling, salted water for roughly 5 minutes.  The key with cooking gnocchi is you’ll know when they are done once you see the gnocchi rising to the top of the water, at that point you can extract the gnocchi that has risen to the top with a spoon.

Fontina Cheese Fondue Preparation: 

  1. Cut cheese into one inch cubes
  2. Place cheese into milk for 2 hours
  3. After cheese has soaked in milk, remove the cheese from the milk and melt cheese in “bagna maria” —place a pot of water on stove top bring it to boil, then set on top of boiling water a smaller pot with cheese—- stir cheese and remove from heat once it has entirely melted
  4. Add egg yolks to the cheese, one at a time and mix thoroughly until reached a creamy consistency.
  5. Final steps, after gnocchi have cooked add fondue on top of all gnocchi in a bowl and mix together, so each individual gnocchi is covered with cream, before serving.

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