Originally posted January 16, 2012
My Christmas tree is still decorated.The thought of taking it down and packing it away is enough to send me into deep mourning. So instead of facing the much dreaded task of dissembling my beloved holiday icon, I decided to make mascarpone gnocchi.
I have made gnocchi from russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and from ricotta but never from mascarpone. I have always thought of mascarpone cheese as more of a dessert ingredient.
The savory cookies and tea breads that I baked at Christmas convinced me mascarpone in combination with the appropriate ingredients would produce rich pillowy bites of gnocchi.
I adapted a recipe calling for eggs, freshly grated nutmeg and reggiano-parmigiano, sea salt, lemon zest and mascarpone cheese combined with flour. After reading the reviews, I adjusted the flour and the cooking technique.
Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi - adapted from Giada De Laurentiis’s recipe
1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature (8 ounces)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large lemons, zested
1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces) I use reggiano-parmigiano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for forming the gnocchi
In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan, and salt.
Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in 1 cup flour until the mixture forms a soft dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper then sprinkle lightly with flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Gently roll the pieces of dough into long ropes 1 inch thick on a well floured surface.
Cut the gnocchi into 1 inch pieces and place them on the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to use.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Carefully add the gnocchi. Many people try to boil their gnocchi leaving them with a lump of mush. The gnocchi should sink to the bottom of the pan and then float to the top. As soon as the gnocchi begin to float, cook for an additional 2 minutes. Drain and place in your favorite sauce.
I would love nothing better than to sit here and write you a sauce recipe for your gnocchi but, whether I like it or not, it’s time to take my Christmas tree down…
Thanks for reading.
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