Gnocchi with Creamy Crab Pan Sauce

The key to the creamy pan sauce that covers chef John Besh's tender potato gnocchi is a rich crab stock, a splash of vermouth and a pinch of crushed red pepper. In a nod to his New Orleans home town, he adds lump crab meat to the sauce, too.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
crab sauce
  • 1 quart fish stock
  • 2 fresh blue crabs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tarragon sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the gnocchi

    In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with 1 inch of water and cook over moderate heat until tender, 15 minutes; drain and pass through a food mill or ricer into a bowl. Add the egg yolks, 1 1/3 cups of flour, salt and nutmeg; gently mix until the dough starts to come together. Gently knead on a floured work surface, dusting with flour if sticky. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.

  2. Make the gnocchi

    Roll out one piece of dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rope; keep the remaining dough covered with a damp kitchen towel. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces and lightly dust with flour. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork or a gnocchi paddle to make ridges. Transfer the gnocchi to a lightly floured baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  3. Make the gnocchi

    Working in 2 batches, cook the gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water until they rise to the surface, about 2 minutes. Then simmer until just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath and let cool. Drain well and let dry on paper towels.

  4. Make the crab sauce

    In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Add the crabs, cover partially and simmer over high heat until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups, 15 minutes. Strain into a bowl; discard the crabs.

  5. Make the crab sauce

    In the same saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, fennel, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, 5 minutes. Add the reduced crab stock, cream, vermouth, thyme, tarragon and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 2 cups, 15 minutes. Discard the tarragon and bay leaf.

  6. Make the crab sauce

    In a skillet, heat half of the pan sauce. Add half of the gnocchi and cook over moderate heat until hot, 2 minutes. Add half of the crab and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter; cook until warmed through and the sauce is slightly thickened, 2 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining pan sauce, gnocchi, crab and butter. Garnish with the cheese and serve at once.

Make Ahead

The cooked gnocchi can be frozen for up to one month. Reheat in the sauce, with a little water.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, minerally Chardonnay.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published January 2014

464395 recipes/gnocchi-creamy-crab-pan-sauce 2013-12-09T20:54:41+00:00 John Besh dinner-party|italian|pasta-and-noodles|8|staff-favorite|weeknight-dinner january-2014 recipes,gnocchi-creamy-crab-pan-sauce 464395

Aggregate Rating value: 5

Review Count: 5750

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: nick trincia

Review Body: Hi John, We just made this recipe and the gnocchi turned out way too sticky. Is 6 eggs correct? it seems like too much moisture. Thanks, Nick

Date Published: 2017-04-16