Mon Petit Chou
Truffled Gnocchi with Peas and Chanterelles

SERVES 4
                      
The secret to making these pillow-soft gnocchi (from Boston’s Sportello) is to knead the dough as little as possible; if it’s overworked, the gnocchi become gluey and tough.
 
FOR THE GNOCCHI:

  • 1 lb. russet potatoes (about 2), unpeeled
  • 1 1⁄4 cup flour, plus more for dusting (1 cup flour, plus more for dusting)
  • 3⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. truffle oil
  • 1 egg, beaten

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 oz. mushrooms, preferably chanterelles,
  •    roughly chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3⁄4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper,
  •    to taste
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped chives

1. Make the gnocchi: Boil potatoes in a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes; let cool slightly and peel. Work potatoes through a food mill or a potato ricer onto a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the flour and salt over the potatoes and mix together with your hands. Form a mound and create a well in the center; add truffle oil and egg. Gently knead dough until it just comes together, adding a little more flour if it begins to stick. I have done the well method when I make home-made pasta, but found it harder to do so with making gnocchi. It started as a well but was later just pushed together and then softly kneaded together. I made sure not to over-knead it, just simply work it until it became a cohesive mass. I had only used about a cup (or even less) of flour to achieve the consistency of dough that I thought made sense. And once cooked, it was perfect. It’s okay to question recipe’s, they don’t always translate. It worked out for me to realize that it did not translate with the mass of milled potatoes that I had. With cooking, go with your gut… it’s probably right.

2. Lightly flour a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and set aside. Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a 1⁄2″ thickness. Cut into 1⁄2″-wide strips. Roll each strip between your hands and the work surface to form ropes. Cut each rope into 1″ segments. Working with one segment at a time, roll it down the back of a small fork so that the tines make ridges on the surface of the dough. More specifically, start by positioning a 1″ dough segment on the back of a dinner fork; then slowly roll the segment down the length of the fork tines while simultaneously pressing lightly on the dough with your thumb to form a shallow indentation in the back. The resulting indentation and striations will help sauce cling to the gnocchi. When finished, transfer gnocchi to the prepared baking sheet; cover with a kitchen towel and refrigerate until ready to cook.

3. Make the sauce: Bring a 6-qt. pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown, about 5 minutes. Raise heat to high; add cream, peas, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until cream reduces by half. Season mushroom sauce with salt and pepper and remove skillet from heat. Boil gnocchi in the salted water until they float, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to mushroom sauce, add chives, and toss to combine.

Orzo Salad

Serves 4 to 6.

·       8 oz. orzo
·       1 bunch green onions, chopped
·       1 medium cucumber, diced
·       8 oz. feta or goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 c.)
·       1/2 c. chopped, pitted kalamata olives
·       1/3 c. canola oil
·       1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
·       2 garlic cloves, minced
·       2 tbsp. fresh dill, or 2 tsp. dried dill
·       1/4 tsp. dried oregano
·       Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Cook the orzo according to package directions and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine orzo, green onions, cucumber, feta and olives.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill, oregano and pepper. Pour dressing over orzo and toss to blend. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pesto Lasagna

Ingredients

For the pesto:
  • 4 cups basil leaves, loosely packed, washed and tough stems trimmed and roughly torn
  • 2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the lasagna:
  • 1 pound fresh lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1-ounce)

Directions

For the pesto: Combine half pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until evenly combined, about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and process until evenly blended, about 1 more minute. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired.

For the lasagna: Heat oven to 375 degrees F and arrange rack in upper third.

Meanwhile, alternatively layer a scant 1/4 cup pesto and 1 sheet of fresh lasagna noodles in an 8 by 8-inch baking dish, trimming noodles, as needed, to fit. There should be about 10 to 12 layers. Top lasagna with cheese and bake until bubbly around edges and cheese is melted, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let sit at least 20 minutes before serving.