Richard Betts is an avid mushroom forager: "Mushrooms are a great expression of terroir, just like wine is." Using a recipe from Jennifer Biesty, a contestant on Top Chef, he sautés them with garlic to top his plump, intensely potatoey gnocchi.
Slideshows: More Gnocchi Recipes
Four 10-ounce baking potatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, such as porcini, morels, oyster and hen-of-the-woods, quartered if large
Freshly ground pepper
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the Gnocchi
Preheat the oven to 375°. On a rimmed baking sheet, bake the potatoes for 1 hour, until tender; let cool slightly. Peel the potatoes and pass them through a ricer into a bowl. Stir in the butter, egg, egg yolk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and 1/2 cup of cheese and let cool.
Step 2 Make the Gnocchi
Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Sprinkle the 1 1/4 cups of flour over the potato mixture and gently knead until the flour is almost incorporated. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface and gently knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll out 1 piece of the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the rope into 1-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Roll each gnocchi against the tines of a fork or gnocchi paddle to make ridges. Cover the gnocchi with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Step 3 Make the Mushroom Ragu
In a very large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until tender and just browned, about 7 minutes. Add half each of the shallots, garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. In the skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and repeat with the remaining mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme. Return all of the mushrooms to the skillet. Stir in the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and season the ragù with salt and pepper; keep warm over low heat.
Step 4 Make the Mushroom Ragu
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add half the gnocchi and simmer over moderately high heat until they rise to the surface, then simmer until cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to warm bowls or a platter. Cook the remaining gnocchi. Spoon the ragù over the gnocchi and serve, passing grated cheese at the table.
The boiled gnocchi can be refreshed in an ice bath and refrigerated overnight. The uncooked gnocchi can be frozen for 2 weeks. The mushroom ragù can be refrigerated overnight; add a little water when reheating.
Pair the dish with a Syrah from Sonoma.
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Review Body: This was our first attempt making gnocchi. The flavor with the mushroom ragu was very nice, although we both think we want to try again to see if we can improve the texture of the gnocchi itself.
We plan to make again in order to see how we can tweak it.