Herbed Gnocchi with Mushrooms is easier to make than you think. Nothing beats making fresh pasta at home. Simple ingredients produce fantastic results.
Why does homemade pasta seem so overwhelming? Seriously how hard can it be? Watch any cooking show and you see chefs just whip it up all the time. Heck even on the amateur cooking shows they don’t seem to have a problem making pasta…well except for Hell’s Kitchen. Those cooks have some issues, thank goodness I’m not trying to make risotto.
Is it time that is the problem? Maybe it’s the whole “I don’t know how” that scares people about pasta. I know it’s the fear of failure. That for sure is it. No one wants to fail, especially when food is involved. This is going to be my dinner, and I don’t want to screw it up. What would hubby think if I gave him a plate of soggy pasta for dinner?
Failure, well let’s just talk about that for a minute. We have all had a few failures in the kitchen. I certainly know the pros have had their share too. It’s not the end of the world…just hope it doesn’t happen when you have a house full of guests…like one of my experiences. Still to this day, we laugh about it. Wasn’t funny at the time (at least not for me), but it did bring a bit of drama to the party.
Without dragging out the whole evening, let’s make a long story short. I was hosting a murder mystery dinner, do you remember them? If not that means I am old and you are young. They were so much fun. It usually involved 8 guests, who were assigned “parts in a play” so to speak. There was a theme, and the guests came in costume to match the role they were playing.
The course of the evening revolved around appetizer, dinner, and dessert. The scenes were played out during each course. Everyone had “prompt cards” so they knew what/when and who to ask. It was a fun, interactive and interesting concept. Throw in some wine, and you had yourself a party.
Anyway, since we were in costume, I decided that before I served dessert, I wanted to change. I had made this beautiful no bake strawberry cheesecake. Since I was feeding a crowd, I doubled the dessert to ensure I had lots. According to the recipe, as long as I had a big enough springform pan this would not be an issue. Wow, whoever decided that this was true…was WRONG!
Before heading downstairs to change, I took the cake out of the fridge, removed the pan, and placed it on the dining room table. I wanted it to reach room temperature before serving. Seriously I was gone like 5 minutes and all I heard was “your dessert is falling all over the table”. What..how is that possible. OMG, this better not be true, what the hell am I going to do? I have guests to feed, how am I going to feed them this. They must be pulling my leg, this isn’t happening.
I quickly ran up the stairs, and sure enough, my cake looked like you deflated The Michelin Man. This 3 layer masterpiece very quickly was turning into a pond on my table. What am I gonna do? All I could say was OH MY GOD!!!! By this time of the evening the guests had more than enough wine, and they thought this was hilarious. They laughed, and I tried not to cry as I used a spatula to try and scoop puddles of cake onto serving plates. I certainly didn’t win points for presentation, but it tasted great!! Thank god they drank the wine, they could care less about how it looked.
I am making this pasta for dinner one way or another. It can’t be that difficult. My grandmother who had 7 kids, a farm and missing 2 fingers on her left hand, made homemade pasta all the time. Surely I can get this, or at least close enough for my first attempt. As long as I have actual pieces of pasta and not one big “lump” I will be thrilled. After all, I totally love potatoes, so seriously it would have to be an epic fail for me not to like this.
Have you ever watched MasterChef Australia? It rocks and this Herbed Gnocchi with Mushrooms was inspired from Gary Mehigan’s Potato Gnocchi with Exotic Mushrooms. I love when simple ingredients create wonderful and tasty results. Perfect for a weeknight dinner, or great for a nice and relaxing weekend with a glass of wine (or two).
After baking the potatoes, letting them cool slightly, you mix in the flour and within a few minutes, you have this wonderful soft dough. You really have to try it to believe it. Roll the dough into a rope, cut it in pieces and viola you have gnocchi. You can get fancy and use a gnocchi board, or fork to create lines on the gnocchi, but I cut it into pieces with a pastry scrapper. I just wanted to make pasta, and could really care less about marks. As long as it was good to eat I was happy.
The mushroom part is easy. All you do is sauté some fresh mushrooms with some garlic. Doesn’t get easier than that. Use whatever kind of mushrooms you desire. You can even incorporate some exotic dried mushrooms, but be sure to reconstitute them first. If you are serving wine with dinner, use some wine it works great. Set this aside until ready to use.
These cute little gnocchi cook so quickly. Bring some water to a boil, reduce heat, gently add gnocchi, and cook till they float (about 2 minutes). Remove from water with a slotted spoon to an oiled bowl. Heat a frying pan with oil, add the cooked gnocchi and brown on all sides. Add some fresh rosemary and butter, then add the mushrooms…and you have yourself an incredible meal.
Next time you think making homemade pasta is hard, think again. This Herbed Gnocchi with Mushrooms comes together in no time. Don’t let making pasta scare you. Give this a try and see for yourself how easy it really is. There will always be disasters in the kitchen, but with this recipe success is achievable.
Looking for more mushroom recipes? Give these a try:
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Herbed Gnocchi with Mushrooms
For the Gnocchi:
- 3-4 russet potatoes ( about 2-2 1/2 pounds)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp Italian herbs (Gourmet Garden)
For the Mushrooms:
- 10 ounces fresh mushrooms (exotic or reconstituted dry) (I used King Oyster & Shitake)
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- Fresh rosemary (stalk and leaves)
- Olive oil for frying (and to oil the bowl)
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- 2 ounces butter (softened)
- Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
To make the Gnocchi:
- Preheat oven to 375º F.
- Wash potatoes, prick several times all over with a fork, place on baking sheet and bake for 1-1/2 hours.
- When cooked, remove from oven and cut in half lengthwise and let cool slightly.
- When potatoes are still warm, using a box grater, grate them into a bowl (but not the skin).
- Add the egg, salt and Italian herbs.
- Mix to just combine.
- Sprinkle 1/2 the flour onto your counter (save a bit of flour for rolling later).
- Place the potato mixture onto the flour.
- Flatten slightly with your hand, add flour on top (small amounts at a time) and incorporate into mixture.
- Keep adding flour to the potatoes to form a dough (pressing down and folding several times).
- Once dough is formed, shape it into a ball.
- Divide ball into 3.
- Roll each section into a 3/4 inch rope (use some of the leftover flour to prevent sticking).
- Using a pastry scraper (or knife) cut each rope into 1 inch pieces, and set on a floured baking sheet until ready to cook.
To make the Mushrooms:
- Clean and slice mushrooms.
- In a frying pan heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, 2 stalks of rosemary, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and set aside till ready to use.
To cook the Gnocchi:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Add gnocchi pieces gently to the boiling water and cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring gently (they should float to the top).
- Using a slotted spoon, remove gnocchi from water and place in an oiled bowl.
- In a non-stick frying pan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add gnocchi, and brown on all sides.
- Add 1 tbsp. of rosemary leaves and butter.
- Add the cooked mushrooms.
- Cook for approximately 1 more minute (to heat the mushrooms).
- Place into serving bowl.
- Add some freshly grated black pepper.
- Garnish with freshly grated cheese.