Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Whole Wheat Carrot Gnocchi

Wow, was it really a week ago today that I sat down for lunch with Ruth Reichl in San Francisco? A week ago that I sampled ice cream flavors such as Secret Breakfast and Elvis. One week ago that I had the best sushi of my life? Seven days ago that I went to a presentation at the Herbst Theater for a conversation with Ruth Riechl and Mark Bittman. Last week was such a whirlwind and for half of it I feel like I had an out of body experience. Was that really my life? Whoever that was, she had a really good time. She gained 50 pounds to prove it (don't worry it was in my checked baggage). I'm working on a post about my trip and some of my favorite spots in San Francisco.
The presentation at the Herbst Theater was a little odd. First of all the Giants were playing (and winning) that night, so the crowd would erupt into random cheers for no apparent reason. They were also having a lot of trouble with their sound equipment. Luckily, I had already purchased Mark Bittman's new cookbook and made these gnocchi before I left. I'm not sure the presentation would have sold me on the book. I can tell you these gnocchi with our local Fairbanks carrots were superb, I highly recommend them. They are very light, so they are best served as an appetizer or a side dish.

Whole Wheat Carrot Gnocchi
adapted from  The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman                                                                                                                                  1 pound carrots, cut into large chunks
Salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
Black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
Several fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Put the carrots in a pot with water to cover and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a gentle boil and cook until the carrots are  tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well. Return the carrots to the dry pan, cover and dry them over the lowest possible heat, for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flours in a small bowl. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil (for testing the dough) and salt it.

Puree (using a food processor, or an immersion blender) the carrots until smooth; sprinkle with salt and pepper and the nutmeg and stir. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle the carrots with 3/4 cup of the flour mixture and stir gently until it is just incorporated. Pinch off a piece of the dough and boil it to make sure it will hold its shape. If it does not, knead in a bit more flour and try again; repeat as necessary. (The idea is to make the dough with as little additional flour and kneading as possible.)

When enough flour has been added, sprinkle a little all-purpose flour on a clean, smooth work surface and roll a piece of the dough into a rope about 1/2-inch thick, then cut rope into 1-inch lengths.  Put each on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper; do not allow to touch. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. (You can freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container or bag).

Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Put oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add sage until it sizzles. A few at a time, add gnocchi to boiling water and gently stir. A minute after they rise to the surface, the gnocchi are done; remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to skillet. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and some gnocchi cooking water if the mixture seems too dry, remove when slightly browned. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with grated parmesan.

2 comments:

  1. I would love to try these! I have never seen or heard of anything like it before and they look a little weird but they sound great! We are all about healthy foods in our home and I can't wait to try these using our favorite whole wheat flour called Kamut wheat! It always cooks up so great as a whole grain - and the carrots? AWESOME!

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  2. I will definitely make these and I will definitely be waiting waiting waiting to read all about your trip so that I can vicariously enjoy your experiences. Out of body sounds just about right. I think you hit the Menu for Hope jackpot.

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