Golden, Crispy Gnocchi

Golden, Crispy Gnocchi Recipe

I spent Sunday afternoon at the ultimate potluck. The formula? Sunny day, sprawling backyard (with pool!), plenty of shade, and dozens of food bloggers gathering with their favorite plates and platters in tow (I pulled together this crispy gnocchi recipe). Owen was kind enough to open up his house, Guy (with help from some fairy angels) helped wrangle us into some semblance of order, and the whole day came together beautifully under a massive bay laurel tree. It was the second official gathering of Bay Area food bloggers.

Pretty colors

Back in 2004, Alder, Pim, Amy, Derrick, Alaina, Anne, Heather and I had a casual get-together in my kitchen, but looking back I don't think any of us could have anticipated the amazing expansion of the food blog community since then. I think I speak for all of us when I say that I feel very lucky to have met so many fantastic individuals because of this site - other site publishers, writers and (of course) readers. I can't wait for an international get-together. I'd love to try to make something happen in the next couple years (giving people plenty of time to plan and save money).

Pals

At something like this, the whole "what do I wear?" thing goes out the window (sort of). Instead, you start thinking about what you want to bring for the potluck, to share with people. This year everyone outdid themselves - it was a beautiful selection of cheeses, salads, wonderful wines, meats, and no shortage of sweets.

Garrett's rustic olive loaf

I decided to to do a pasta salad, sort-of. Don't start yawning quite yet. I used gnocchi instead of noodles, and a different cooking technique. I've sworn off boiling gnocchi for the time-being. Instead I've been pan-searing fresh gnocchi in a skillet until it is looks like the photo at the beginning of this post. Delicious. The crust gives great texture and eye appeal. For the potluck I decided to pair the gnocchi with a medley of fresh summer shell beans and some chanterelle mushrooms. I think the key was keeping the components mostly separated until I was ready to plate it so the gnocchi would stay intact and home I would finish everything off in one skillet.

Kim Goodfriend's Nectarine-Blueberry CrackClafoutisCobbler

I've included shots of some of the other contributions to the potluck. Not at all comprehensive. Penny did a nice photo round up on Flickr that you can see here.

Recipe du Jour - Golden, Crispy Gnocchi with Summer Shell Beans. As you can clearly see from this shot, I have a hard time talking and shooting at the same time

Thanks to everyone who helped pull this together. And thank-you Elise for sending me home with some delicious apple butter.

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Golden, Crispy Gnocchi with Summer Shell Beans

Look for fresh shell beans, still in pods at your farmers' markets. This time I used cranberry beans, not being able to resist their vibrant, mottled pink pods. I also added a few handfuls of butter beans, and of course favas (which I can get here at the market through November). Most beans you can pop right out of the pod and throw into a pot of boiling water to cook. Favas you need to remove the beans from their big outer pods, give them a quick boil (a minute or two), drain, rinse with cold water to cool them off, and then pop them out of their light colored inner shell. Intensive but worth it.

I buy fresh gnocchi from a pasta maker at the farmers' market as well. Throw them right in a well-seasoned pan with some clarified butter, toss and let them brown on each side, no boiling. This is not a typo.

fresh shell beans (try a mix of fava, cranberry beans, butter beans), shelled, roughly three cups of beans

1 pound fresh gnocchi

1/2 pound chanterelle mushrooms (optional - if you can't get chanterelles, skip the mushrooms)
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced

a big handful of small cherry tomatoes, halved

clarified butter or extra virgin olive oil

splash of cream (optional)
freshly grated parmesan (optional)

Take the shelled beans and cook each type of bean in its own pot of water. They will take between 10 and 20 minutes to cook (taste to tell when they are done). Drain and salt to taste. Set aside. See header notes re: fava beans.

Heat a couple tablespoons of clarified butter (or olive oil) in a large well-seasoned (or non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi in a single layer and toss to coat with the butter. Let them cook until they are golden brown on the bottoms and then use a metal spatula to flip the gnocchi. Cook until they are golden all over. Salt, transfer to a platter and set aside.

Clean out that same big skillet, add a bit more butter or oil, and over medium-high heat saute the mushrooms, shallots and thyme along with a few pinches of salt and pepper. The mushrooms will release a bit of moisture, keep cooking, and let them get a bit of color (another minute or two).

Toss the cooked shell beans into the skillet with the mushrooms, add the tomatoes and cook for another few seconds. Remove from heat and stir in a splash of cream if you like. Pour the beans and mushrooms over the gnocchi and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Serve family style on a big plate or platter.

Serves 4-6.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • I read this entire article to learn how to make 'Golden, Crispy Gnocchi', and there is NO Gnocchi recipe. How can a recipe be titled by an ingredient that is store bought?

    Kory
  • Wow, that looks amazing. *beating fists on table* I WANT TO BE A BAY AREA FOOD BLOGGER!

    Kevin
  • Heidi, I have been thinking a lot about gnocchi after eating the best of my life at a restaurant in Denver. I'm wondering why you don't boil them anymore. Would it work to boil briefly, then pan fry to get that golden crust? Hmmm, I'll have to do some experimenting.

    Julie O'Hara
  • I love fried Gnocchi. An Italian restaurante near my house makes them with Rose sauce and its one of the best things I ever ate. I tried to reproduce the recipe at home but failed miserably since I am an ambitious bastard andtried to make the Gnocchi from scratch. NOT an easy task, getting the right texture is an art.

    Nir
  • Gnocchi are my favorite italian food. I love your way to cook them ! ;)

    gianni
  • Let me know if you try this one...I think it lends itself to all sorts of toppings - I can see the technique move through the seasons quite easily. Pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter. You could do a mushroom medley on top of the gnocchi in place of the beans. Fresh chopped tomatoes, sauteed for just a few seconds, with olive oil, basil, etc. Any other ideas?

    Heidi
  • Great idea! Gnocchi are my absolute favorite "pasta" and will try this soon. However, my wife hates beans.. can you (or anyone else) suggest some 'light' alternatives, ie veggies or othe things to couple with the gnocchi (or 'yuckies' as me and my sister used to call them as kids in Italy). Thanks for a great idea! Al

    Al
  • Hi Heidi! Very nice, it sounds indeed as a very lovely day...! And what a beautiful pictures, must have been a lot of fun and a lot of great food with all those foodbloggers (!) This gnocchi looks amazing; you can even see the little crusts. =)

    Julia
  • h. The last (and first) time I made gnocchi, They disintegrated in the gently boiling water. Because I knew, they were, mainly, delicious mashed potato, I froze what remained, with the idea to roast them in the oven. It's been too hot to turn on the oven, but it had not occured to me to sauté them in a skillet. Thanks "oh brilliant one"....v

    vici
  • You can blame me. I think I was trying to talk to you whilst you were taking the shot of the gnocchi and bean salad. All my fault. I am bummed I missed out on your impromptu photography lessons. Next time I am going to be milling around next to Heidi in the hope of some instruction. you can also tell me the secret of your photogenicity. it's not that you don't look fabulous in real life - you absolutely do - it's just that you look super-fabulous in photographs. you need to give lessons in being in front of the camera as well as behind!

    sam
  • It's lovely to see how your shots came out under the dappled light of the Bay Laurel tree. I was quite fond of your plate. Aesthetically and taste-bud wise. Thanks for always taking such amazing photos of me. :} I'm happy to be one of your delicious subjects! Pate a choux gnocchi were my first foray into sauteed ones. yum.

    shuna fish lydon
  • I'm not a food blogger- but- I sure wish I was at that gathering ! .. I looked at the photos and everything - including these shots look so mouthwatering!

    Gigi
  • Heidi, So glad I got to finally meet you! I loved watching you shoot too (sorry for being such a nerd!)

    Anita
  • I've heard about fried ravioli, but this is the first time I see fried gnocchi. Tomorrow is 29, so I'm going to try this.

    Marina
  • Beautiful wrap-up, Heidi. Fantastic photos, as always. Here's the thought Cranky and I took away from the wonderful party: Food bloggers are really super people. Stellar.

    cookiecrumb
  • I am SO glad you've written up your dish! It was delicious and great for the hot day.

    Melissa
  • what a wonderful idea! oh and I just saw lots and lots of shell beans at the farmers market today but I didn't buy any. hopefully they'll be there next week too!

    connie
  • Heidi, that looks fantastic. Mouth-watering.

    Tana
  • Heidi - it was great to meet you even if only briefly. I'm afraid I missed out on your lovely dish - and was laughed at by my family later who all put it in the highlight section for the day! I was happy that your companion (whose name I have already lost from my useless brain) liked the pool...

    Owen
  • Hi Heidi, Those gnocchi were amazing! I did taste hints of butter and Parmesan, no wonder. the beans were terrific too, so pretty and each one a flavor surprise. :-)

    Elise
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