Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sausage Cheese Sauce for Pasta

Okay this recipe is mostly my own invention.  I based it on the sauce from the chef in the video below.  Of course I had to make substitutions since this was a spur of the moment thing and I didn't have the energy to go shopping for anything fancy.

Makes enough sauce to cover gnocchi for 3 servings

1-2T olive oil
2-3 shallots or 1/2 a small yellow onion chopped fine
1c coarsely sliced crimini mushrooms (baby portabellos)
~1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage meat sans casing (I had one large link left over from Baked Ravioli)
1c peas
generous pinch salt
generous pinch pepper
1/2c white wine (Pinot Grigio according to chef but I use white cooking wine from the supermarket)
1c half and half
3/4 Gruyere cheese coarsely grated (chef used 3 fat tablespoons of Gorgonzola)
1/2 Parmesan cheese coarsely grated
3 large leaves of fresh sage coarsely chopped

  1. Saute onion and mushrooms in oil until soft
  2. Add sausage meat.  Break up into small pieces while cooking.  Saute until brown.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. Add wine.  Deglaze pan.  Boil wine off.
  5. Add half and half, cheeses and sage.  Boil until thickened.
  6. Add pasta to heat through.
  7. Serve with extra Parmesan sprinkled on top.

GF Gnocchi

Yesterday a wonderful friend and I made GF gnocchi, one batch of traditional potato and one batch of pumpkin.  Since then I've had numerous requests for the recipes so here they are.  Now I want to emphasise that these are NOT my recipes.   They are combinations of recipes from two books Delicious Simplicity by Anna Tourkakis and Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking by Kelli and Peter Bronski. 

The nice thing about these recipes is that they can be done in stages.  I threw together the flour mixture the day before.  Wendy and I made the gnocchi yesterday.  Once boiled they store well in the fridge and freezer for later so you can do a sauce on a differnt day and just throw the gnocchi in to heat it up.  These recipes can be made with either regular flour or the GF mix from Artisanal GF. 

The potato gnocchi came out like the real deal.  This is why I purchased the Artisanal book; the authors are foodies and cooks so they were very careful coming up with recipes, that while GF, tasted good.  They also had a recipe for homemade GF ravioli that I have yet to try.  Considering the store bought GF ravioli, although yummy, costs roughly $1 per ravioli I was going to give it a try but then I got sick.  I've made ravioli before so the idea didn't at all intimidate me.  When I get a bit better and can deal with something that fussy it is on my list of things to do.

I do have a guilty confession to make: I was pretty toasted yesterday.  Not one of my good days so I had trouble following my recipe.  Wendy was doing the potato recipe (she owned the ricer) while I was doing the pumpkin gnocchi (I had the cookbook) which I totally screwed up.  This has happened to me several times now.  When I'm really brain fried I can't follow directions.  Ah well, the chronic life.....  There is always tomorrow and I haven't given up on the pumpkin gnocchi yet.  Mine came out like rubber balls but they tasted like pumpkin so quite yummy little rubber balls :-)  I can hardly wait to try them again.  This time I'll try to pay more attention.  Wendy's, of course, came out perfect!

Flour Recipe from Artisanal GF Cooking

1 1/4c brown rice flour
3/4c sorghum flour
2/3c cornstarch
1/4c potato starch
1T + 1t potato flour
1t xanthan gum

Mix well with a wire whisk or preferably run the ingrediants several times through a flour sifter.  Store in a airtight container.  Sift or whisk again before use.  Do not pack tightly when using.

Potato Gnocchi from Artisanal GF Cooking with a few modifications in italics

     2lbs starchy potatoes (we used Yukon Golds)
     2 eggs beaten
     1 to 1 1/2c flour mix
     pinch salt
     pinch nutmeg (while not in the original recipe Wendy and I decided that this would be a nice        addition)
  1. Peel potatoes, cut into chunks and boil in salted water until fork tender.  (the original recipe calls for baking the potatoes but in the interest of time we boiled them instead)
  2. Run under cool water (or scoop out baked potatoes and let meat cool)
  3. Press potato meat through a ricer or Foley mill for best result but can also be mashed
  4. The Italian thing to do is mound the potatoes on a counter and make a well in the middle for the eggs.  We used mixing bowls.
  5. Add 1c flour
  6. Mix.  We used our hands and got really messy.  Yay!
  7. Work the dough and add additional flour to make it smooth and firm but not sticky and stiff.  See video below.  It should feel/act like Playdough
  8. Set a large pot of salted water to boil
  9. Make 1/2" diameter dough snakes by rolling it out on a floured surface
  10. Chop snake up into 3/4" bits.  It is more important to make them the same size rather than an exact diameter.  The size will effect the cooking time.
  11. Roll bits over fork tines to make a well on the finger side and ridges on the fork side.  This gives the sauce places to stick to.
  12. Once the water is at a hard rolling boil drop in the dough balls about a dozen at a time into the liquid.  Make sure the water does NOT stop boiling.
  13. The gnocchi will sink and then when cooked float to the surface.  This is when they can be scooped out.  Once they float they should boil 2-3 minutes.  You can give them a gentle nudge during cooking to make sure they aren't sticking to each other or the bottom of the pot.  We discovered the hard way that you do have to use a large pot since you can't see for the bubbles if you use a smaller one.
  14. They can now either be cooled or popped into a pan with some sauce.

Pumpkin Gnocchi from Delicious Simplicity

     1c canned pumpkin puree
     1 3/4c flour
     1 egg
     1/2t salt
  1. In a bowl combine pumpkin, flour, egg and salt.
  2. Mix until thoroughly incorporated
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil
  4. Use two teaspoons to shape dough into grape sized lumps
  5. Drop into boiling water.  They will sink.  Once they rise to the top they are done.  This should take roughly 2 minutes.  Again only drop in about a dozen and do not let the water stop boiling.