Pinot and Pasta: One of our Most Versatile Winter Recipes
by EnRoute on January 10, 2020
“This potato gnocchi has everything I want in a winter recipe. The gnocchi are pillow-y yet filling. The parmesan cream offers subtle richness, without being over the top. The wild mushroom ragout adds the most delicious earthy flavors to the dish. But the most beautiful thing about this recipe? Its wonderful versatility.
You can skip the cream sauce or omit the ragout and it still tastes dreamy, even more so when paired with a glass of bright, berry inflected EnRoute Pinot Noir “Les Pommiers.”
Need to skip the truffles or swap the homemade gnocchi for your favorite store-bought dumplings? That’s fine. It will still bring out with the generous fruit flavors and soft sage-earth accents of our Russian River Valley Pinot.” – Chef Sarah Walz
One final chef’s note: Preparing and freezing the gnocchi ahead of time is encouraged for two reasons: it will significantly help you with your prep timing, and sautéed gnocchi adds a delightful “toothiness” to the texture of the potato pasta.
Gnocchi with Mushroom Ragout and Parmesan Cream
2 cups rock salt, for baking
1,000 grams Russet potatoes (roughly 4 medium-to-large potatoes)
1 egg yolk
250 grams of flour (2cups)
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Optional: 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and one tablespoon chopped chives
Mushroom Ragout Ingredients
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound mixed mushrooms (hedgehogs, porcini, chanterelles), chopped to bite-sized pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs
Parmesan Cream Sauce Ingredients
1 cup Chardonnay
1 shallot, sliced thin
2 thyme sprigs
1 quart heavy cream
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
Optional: dash of nutmeg, for seasoning
For the gnocchi:
First, wrap a full-sized sheet pan in plastic wrap and spay with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake potatoes on a bed of rock salt until soft. Remove and discard skins, then use a ricer to rice potato into a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and fresh ground white pepper (an additional eighth of a teaspoon nutmeg and one tablespoon chopped chives optional), then add two tablespoons olive oil and the egg and egg yolk. As you add ingredients and begin to form your dough, be careful not to overwork it.
Sprinkle flour onto potato mixture, using your hands or a wooden spoon to mix until a sticky dough forms in the bowl. Then sprinkle a generous dusting of flour onto a clean work surface, place your potato gnocchi dough down and form a circular, flat ball. Cut one quarter of the dough and form it into a long snake. Slice one 1-inch piece and drop it into a small pot of boiling water. If the gnocchi falls apart, work two more tablespoons of flour into the dough.
Test two to three additional pieces until the dough stays together. Then, let your dough rest for 20 minutes, covered. Your dough should be below room temperature, and rather cool. Form gnocchi and place on sheet pan. When you’ve formed all your gnocchi, cook in salted boiling water. When the gnocchi rise to the top, remove with a slotted spoon. If you are serving right away, place cooked gnocchi in a shallow dish and toss with olive oil to keep them from sticking.
If you are preparing them in advance, remove the gnocchi and place in a large ice water bath to prevent them from continuing to cook. Spread them out on your sheet pan and place in freezer. When you are ready to serve, heat a large sauté pan on high heat, add two tablespoons vegetable oil and then add enough frozen gnocchi to cover – but not exceed – the bottom of the pan. (yes, it’s easier to sear the gnocchi’s from frozen). Each should have space to wiggle. Sauté until golden on all sides, season with salt and pepper and remove to serving dish.
For the mushroom ragout:
Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add onions and garlic, lower temperature to medium-low and cook until the onions have wilted, roughly three minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and all the liquid has evaporated.
For the parmesan cream sauce:
In a saucepan add Chardonnay, sliced shallot, and thyme sprigs and turn heat to high. Reduce until wine is al sec or has a syrup-like constancy. Watch it closely as it can quickly go from a syrup to a burnt mess if you’re not attentive. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for two minutes on medium-high heat. When the cream has reduced by a quarter, strain the shallots and thyme sprigs and pour cream into a blender. Blend on low and slowly add grated cheese until combined. Season with salt and white pepper (a dash of nutmeg is optional).
Easily served family-style or in individual bowls, top your gnocchi with warm parmesan cream, followed by the mushroom ragout. If you’re feeling decadent, shave white truffles over each dish, pour a glass of EnRoute Pinot Noir “Les Pommiers,” and curl up by the fireplace with good company. Salut!