Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Potato Gnocchi with Oyster mushroom, Pancetta and Mushroom broth

So I wanted to make some Gnocchi. I haven't made it at home before and my friend and co worker George gave me a great base recipe to try. I saw some Oyster mushrooms at the vege shop and decided to incorporate it into my dish along with some other treats I found at Med Foods. They sell the ends of their cured meat so I .picked up an end of excellent quality pancetta for $2.50. Bargain. The result was surprisingly delicious! A fresh tomato sauce with garlic and basil would also be very good with this.

For the Gnocchi

3 large potatoes (about 750g)
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup plain flour plus extra for dusting
salt and white pepper

Clean the potatoes and place in the oven until soft - it took about an hour and a half in my oven. When cooked and cool enough to handle mash the potato into a bowl or a work bench. I used my mouli and the result was excellent.
Add the egg yolks and salt and pepper to taste and gently incorporate the flour, adding more if you need to. The more flour added the firmer the gnocchi will be and what you really want is nice fluffy dumplings. However, if you don't add enough flour you gnocchi will disintegrate in the water... it's a fine line!
Split the dough into 2 on a floured surface and roll into a long sausage about 2cm wide. Cut into about 3cm dumplings and place on a floured tray. At this stage you can leave them for up to 2 hours.
Bring a pot of salted water to a gentle boil, cook the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes or until the gnocchi float.
If you are adding the gnocchi to a sauce you only need to blanch the gnocchi for a minute as they will continue cooking.

Serves 2 for a main

Oyster mushroom, pancetta and mushroom broth

100g portabello mushrooms
100g oyster mushrooms
60g pancetta, rind removed but kept and cut into lardons
a knob of butter
handful of Italian parsley, leaves picked
1 T chopped chives
1 clove garlic, bashed a bit
1 bay leaf
a couple of parsley stalks
sprig of thyme
250ml chicken stock
1/2 Divilla Mushroom stock cube - available from Med Foods
Parmesan to serve

In a small pot heat a bit of olive oil and add the pancetta rind, bay, thyme, garlic and one of each mushroom. Gently saute for a minute or so and then add the stock and simmer for about 15 minutes and then strain and set aside.
Heat a medium frying pan and add about 1 T olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp and golden.
Increase the heat slightly and add the portabello mushrooms, when starting to brown add the oyster mushrooms and the butter. Add the gnocchi into the boiling water at this stage.
Season the mushroom mix as required and add the parsley in.
Place the strained and cooked gnocchi into the serving bowls and scatter over the mushroom mix. Pour the mushroom broth down the side and sprinkle with the chives.
Finish with fresh Parmesan and serve.

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