[If you think gnocchis are fungus that grows on your feet you should quit reading this post now!]
Anyone still here? Great! These famous italian dumplings made of flour and potato, have been taken to another level of yumminess by chef Barbara Lynch of N#9 Park in Boston who came up with this clever twist on a classic. You must try this!
These innocent-looking little pockets of love are in fact stuffed with foie gras and prune macerated in Vin Santo and served with the wine reduced to a glaze and enriched with foie gras. Not bad huh? It sounds heavy but it’s really quite light and velvety, smooth and creamy which are adjectives who also coincidently best describe me…k…just kidding!
Gentlemen, let’s talk strategy! This dish seriously increase your chances to score on Valentines day BUT make sure to check beforehand your sweetie is not affiliated with PETA or she will drag your sorry ass out in the street and give you a good public beating. Never-ever serve Foie-Gras to an animal rights extremist even if you’re tired of living, there’s gotta be a less painful death.
For the rest of us epicurian/saviors of the world/poets who rather pick for dinner an animal who was free to roam around the field over an antibiotic-fed mass-produced chicken who never seen the light of day this dish a good way to indulge on special occasions. Enjoy!
PRUNE-STUFFED GNOCCHI WITH VIN SANTO GLAZE
(serves 6 to 8)
- 20 pitted prunes
- 2 cups vin santo or Madeira
- 4 ounces foie gras, veins removed
- 4 ounces butter, in pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds Idaho (high-starch) potatoes
- 2 cups flour, approximately
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 big shallot, roughly chopped
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 12 peppercorns
- 12 coriander seeds
- 1/4 cup cream
1. Marinate prunes in wine for at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, combine foie gras and butter with a wooden spoon; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm. Boil potatoes, skins on, in water to cover until very soft; cool just until you can handle them, then peel and rice or mash; refrigerate until cool.
2. Put potatoes in a bowl, along with about half the flour, the egg and nutmeg; mix until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add enough flour to make a delicate but only slightly sticky dough. Transfer half the dough to a lightly floured work surface; roll out a sheet about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to make 3-inch circles; repeat rolling and cutting with remaining dough until you have about 40 circles.
3. Strain prunes and reserve wine; cut prunes in half. Put a piece of prune in middle of each dough circle, then fold over and seal. Lay each package on a floured surface while you make sauce. (Packages can be refrigerated for a couple hours, or frozen for several days.)
4. About 20 to 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put wine in a small saucepan along with shallot, thyme, peppercorns and coriander. Over high heat, reduce mixture to about 1/4 cup, a thick glaze. Add cream, and cook until it reduces slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Lower heat and use a wooden spoon to beat in a little of the foie gras-butter; as it melts, add a bit more. When it’s all incorporated, put sauce through a strainer to remove herbs and any remaining foie gras veins; keep warm but not hot or it will break. (If it threatens to break, beat in a bit of hot water and it will become smooth again.)
5. Drop pasta a few at a time in boiling water; they’re done when they rise to the top, about 2 minutes later. Drain and keep warm until they’re all cooked. Serve with sauce spooned over.