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Potato Gnocchi with Pastrami Ragù

Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone put a clever twist on their gnocchi recipe by using deli pastrami in the sauce. Feel free to use it on any kind of pasta.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • Rock salt, for baking
  • Two 12-ounce Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 6 ounces sliced pastrami, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sliced chives


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a small baking pan with rock salt. Pierce the potatoes with a fork and place on the salt. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until tender.
  2. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and pass them through a ricer into a bowl. Let the potatoes cool.
  3. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Stir the eggs, the 1 cup of flour and the kosher salt into the riced potatoes. Gently knead a few times to form a dough that just holds together. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out 1 piece of the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate the gnocchi for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Boil the gnocchi just until they rise to the surface of the water, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer to the ice water to chill, then drain on paper towels and pat dry. Transfer the gnocchi to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat until translucent, 4 minutes. Add the celery, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until richly browned, 15 minutes.
  6. In a food processor, mince the pastrami. Add the pastrami to the skillet along with the water and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour.
  7. In a nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the foam subsides, add half of the gnocchi and cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and gnocchi.
  8. Spoon the sour cream onto 4 plates and top with the gnocchi and pastrami ragù. Garnish with the chives and serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 5 and refrigerated separately overnight. Bring the gnocchi to room temperature before proceeding.

Suggested Pairing

Vibrant, spicy Barbera d’Alba is a nice complement to the smoky, spicy pastrami here.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published July 2012

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502006 2013-12-06 Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi fall|winter|italian|pasta-and-noodles|4 july-2012 recipes,potato-gnocchi-with-pastrami-ragu 502006