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Goat Cheese Gnocchi With Caramelized Onions And Thyme

*Post by Angela.

There is a certain incident about which we don't really speak around these parts.  It involves a disasterous attempt to make cheese-based (instead of potato-based) gnocchi, an attempt that resulted in mushy, tasteless globs...and maybe a few tears (what?  Mark takes his gnocchi very seriously.  Just kidding, I was upset).  In any event, I avoided non-potato gnocchi recipes like the plague...until tonight.  When I saw this recipe from the New York Times, I had to try it.  And I'm glad I did.  While I think it would have tasted even better with regular potato gnocchi, these goat-cheese cushions turned out really well, and the caramelized onions simply make the dish sing.



List of ingredients for the dish:
  • 1 lb creamy goat cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • Fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp regular butter 
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2/3 cup chicken stock (you can use vegetable broth or mock chicken broth for a vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 oz high-butterfat butter (Can you believe such a thing exists?! I used Plugra, as recommended.)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper

First, I let the goat cheese come to room temperature, then whisked it together with the eggs and a generous pinch of sea salt.



I then gradually kneaded in about 3/4 of a cup of flour, trying not to overknead (I wanted these bad boys fluffy, and nothing says dense gnocchi like overkneading).  I made the dough into a ball, covered it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.



Next, I sliced up two onions super thin with my mandoline, and managed to keep all my fingers intact.



I melted 3 tbsp of regular butter in a pan, and tossed in the onions, making sure that everything got thoroughly coated. 



I cooked the onions over medium low heat for about 40 minutes,  tossing in a pinch each of salt, pepper and sugar, until they were nice and browned, and set them aside.



Back to the gnocchi!  I put a pot of water on to boil.  In the meantime, I rolled the dough in sections into thin ropes, and cut it into 1 inch pieces. 



I rolled each piece on the back of a fork to make ridges and placed them on a lightly floured tray.



Once all the gnocchi was ready, I threw them into the boiling water in batches, waiting just about 3 minutes before scooping them out and throwing them into a bowl of ice water.  Then I scooped them out of that bowl, and placed them off to the side for a moment.  This process may sound weird to you - I know it sounded weird to me - but I think it might be important in order to prevent the mushiness of my prior, botched (horrific) attempt.  I think the ice-water bath firms up the gnocchi...but that's just my theory. 


I then poured about 2/3 of a cup of chicken stock into a pot, and added the thyme and the gnocchi.  I brought it up to a gentle simmer over medium heat, and added the Plugra (the high-butterfat butter) in pieces.




Finally, I added in the spinach and the Parmigiano, stirred lightly and cooked just until the spinach had wilted a bit.



I plated the gnocchi with its rich, buttery sauce, and topped it off with the sweet, caramelized onion.  Mark and I both really enjoyed this filling and luscious dish.  While it was a little work intensive, it was worth the effort!


Reader Comments (4)

yum. its been too long since i made Gnocchi

April 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

As much work as it is, I really love homemade gnocchi. Especially since I figured out the secret to great potato-based gnocchi (a ricer!). We don't make it a WHOLE lot, but it is a classic in this house.

April 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

You have inspired me to make gnocchi! Looks delicious!

April 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCapital Chef

It takes a little time, but it's pretty simple, really! The important thing is to make sure you don't overknead the dough.

April 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterAngela

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