Pillowy potato gnocchi with a fresh sauce that is lightly seasoned with lemon zest, chili flakes and parmesan cheese.
5 medium russet potatoes
1 large box kosher salt
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup Italian “00” or all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
Semolina flour, for dusting
1 cup frozen peas
10 mint leaves (or more if you like a stronger mint essence)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Zest of 1 small lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Prep Time: 35min | Cook Time: 70min
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Using a fork, prick the potatoes all over. Pour the box of kosher salt into a baking dish. Bury the potatoes in the salt; it will be okay if their tops pop out. Bake for 60 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven. Immediately cut them in half, then let sit until cool enough to handle. Scoop the flesh into a food mill, and process into a large bowl.
Spread the potatoes over a clean working surface, using a pastry scraper. Sprinkle the pepper over the top, and drizzle with the beaten egg. Lightly sprinkle 1/2 cup of the flour over the potato-egg mixture. Using the pastry scraper, begin incorporating the ingredients, and continue doing so until almost combined. Keep adding the remaining flour until you reach a thick consistency. It may become necessary to use your hands toward the end to continue combining the ingredients. This last mixing step will only take a few moments. Once the dough has come together, divide into 4 equal pieces.
Clean your work surface and dry well. Lightly sprinkle a little flour over the surface. Working quickly, roll the dough into a large ½-inch rope, then cut into ½-inch pieces of gnocchi. After cutting the dough, you can use the tines of a fork or a gnocchi board to make grooves into each piece. Set the gnocchi pieces onto a baking sheet that has been lightly covered with semolina flour.
Begin preparing the sauce. Fill a saucepan full of cold water and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Immediately drain into a colander and stop the cooking process with an ice bath. Drain again.
Add the peas, mint, and garlic to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add the cheese, zest, and pepper flakes cheese. Pulse. With the food processor running, add the oil until the mixture is smooth. Season with salt.
Fill a large heavy pot with cold water. Season generously with salt; this helps season the gnocchi. Bring to a boil. Add pieces of gnocchi, one at a time. Cook only until they float up to the top, about 2 to 4 minutes. Scoop out and lay on top of paper towels.
Lightly toss with the pea sauce. Serve and pass more grated Parmesan cheese.
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