Potato Gnocchi with Assorted Mushrooms and Cippole
Four Yukon or Russet Potatoes (approximately two pounds)
1-1/2 cups flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Grated nutmeg
Boil the potatoes whole until they feel soft but still firm. It is important that you don't break the skin, as this holds the potato together. Drain, and let cool. Peel the potatoes and push them through a ricer. (Grating them can be a more tedious but effective process) Gently fold in the ingredients. I use a dough cutter to cut the flour into the potato. When you have a nice, delicate batch of dough, let sit and rest for about twenty minutes, covered.
Next, take manageable portions and roll into long snake like form (remember play-do), and cut into one-inch segments. (Dusting with a little flour will help it from sticking). Scoop gnocchi gently with dough scraper, and put in boiling salted water. When they float to the top wait twenty seconds and remove to a sheet pan or large plate.
Sautee with a little oil - one diced onion, one diced carrot and two diced stems of celery.
Deglaze the mix with one cup of white wine and reduce by half. Add two cups of water and all your mushroom scraps, two cloves of garlic, one tsp. of chopped rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer for half an hour to hour. (I add dried porcini mushrooms to the broth for a real earthy rich flavor.) Or until reduced by half and strain
Assembling the Dish:
Begin by heating an oiled pan large enough for all your ingredients. Add cippolene onions (small, flat, Italian onion) that have been cut into segments to the pan and cook until caramelized, then add assorted mushrooms and one clove sliced garlic (type and amount of mushrooms are your call, as we all have our favorites. I use Shiitake, Oyster and Crimini.)
Cook mushrooms quickly so that they remain crisp, and deglaze the mix with your stock. It should bubble and sizzle when it hits the pan. When there is only half the liquid remaining finish with two tbsps of cold butter to thicken the juice.
Add all the gnocchi to the boiling salted water and when they surface remove immediately and add to the mushrooms and onions.
Toss and serve immediately with grated Parmesan Reggianno. If your feeling decadent, and have the means - a little drizzled truffle oil can add depths of flavor to this dish.