Friday, August 25, 2017

Homemade Gnocchi with Kurobuta Pork Toulouse Sausage Meat





Food made with love always taste better.

Wife loves gnocchi and last weekend I got all the kids to help out in the making of these lovely potato pillows. 

Besides preparing our own dinner, making gnocchi was a bonding session for the family. We got our hands dirty (with flour), distributed the work and cracked jokes along the way. It was not quick and not super easy. There were numerous steps of repeating the same task. Making gnocchi requires time, determination and patience but it was through the process that the kids learn about such values and appreciate the gift of giving and love.

Gnocchi is a labour of love. It does not require the most expensive ingredients but to me it is the most luxurious of pastas. It shows anyone you serve the handmade gonococci to, that they are special to you. That you are willing to spend the time and effort for them. They are worth it and you love them.

I added some sweet potatoes to give the pasta a luscious touch and cooked the boiled gnocchi with Kurobuta pork toulouse sausage meat and finished off with sage-infused butter.

The bonding session continued from the kitchen to the dining table where we sat down, enjoyed our labour of love and talked about anything and everything with the delicious Pomerol.

Happiness is loving and being loved... and love is about giving.



Ingredients (Serves 5-6)

Gnocchi
1.2 kg floury potatoes (I mixed with some sweet potato)
100g ricotta cheese
180g plain flour (more for kneading and rolling)
1 egg
Salt
White pepper

600g Kurobuta Pork Toulouse sausage meat (Or sausage meat of your choice, remove meat and discard skin)
50g Butter
2 sprigs sage (chopped)
5-6 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
500g brown mushroom (sliced)
100ml chicken broth
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Method

Gnocchi


Preheat the oven to 200C and bake the potatoes/sweet potatoes for an hour or until tender through. Let them cool just enough that you can handle them.

Peel off the potato skin and mash until smooth (pass them through a ricer into a large bowl).

Mix in the ricotta, a pinch of salt and white pepper and the flour. Make a well in the middle, add the beaten egg and begin to combine the mixture with floured hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to clump together. 

Knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft, smooth, and a little sticky, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Be careful not to overwork it or the gnocchi will be tough, the dough should feel very delicate.) 

Move the dough to one side, making sure the surface underneath it is well floured. 

Tear off a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball. With the palms of both hands, roll the dough piece on the floured surface into a rope about 2cm in diameter. Using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, cut each length of dough into pieces (about 1.5cm). 

You can use a fork to create ridges or indent gently with your thumb.This process isn’t necessary, but adds to the asthetic of your final dish.

Repeat until you run out of dough, reflouring the work surface as needed. When all the gnocchi have been cut and spread out on the baking sheets, sprinkle them with a little more flour.

To Cook:

Gently shake away any excess flour and place finished gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook gnocchi until they float to the top, about 2 minutes. Gently remove them with a slotted spoon, drain very well.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat and melt butter. Before melted butter turned brown, add chopped sage until aroma fills the air. Turn off the heat and put aside.

Heat up a separate pan with a little olive oil. Saute the garlic but do not brown it. Add sausage meat, stir fry and breaking out the minced meat into chunky bite-size (similar to gnocchi). Add mushroom and broth. Continue to fry for a minute.

Add the blanched gnocchi into the pan and saute for another minute. Season with salt, pepper and finish it off with the sage-infused butter.

Serve immediately.



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