I don't know about you, but one of my favorite Italian dishes is gnocchi - sort of like potato dumplings. I was craving them this weekend, so I decided to try to make them at home. I didn't realize how easy they are to make, but I do have to warn you that it's a bit time consuming. So put on your apron, pour a glass of wine, and be prepared for a delicious meal!
For the gnocchi:
1.5 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed (about 3 large potatoes)
1 cup all purpose flour (it may actually take about 2 cups)
1 large egg yolk, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
For the mushroom sauce:
1 lb sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup brandy
1/4 cup butter (or less)
First, you need to bake the potatoes. Preheat oven to 400F, wash potatoes and pierce them in several places. Bake for about 1 hour or until soft. Take out of the oven and peel - russet potatoes are very easy to peel after baking, so make sure you do that while they are still hot (and don't burn your fingers). Smash the potatoes on a flat surface (a baking sheet or a big plate) and let them cool a bit.
Transfer to a large bowl and add 1 cup flour. Toss them around until coated well. Add the egg, salt and nutmeg in the center of the mixture, and stir with fork until evenly moistened. Transfer mixture onto lightly floured surface. Knead until dough comes together, and feel free to add more flour if dough is very sticky.
Now, on to the creamy mushroom sauce. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the mushrooms and onions. Saute over medium to high heat until mushrooms begin to brown - about 10-12 minutes. Add the whipping cream and the brandy, boil until sauce thickens - another 5-8 minutes. Pour it over the gnocchi and mix well. And voila! My tongue was definitely doing the happy dance!