not quite gnocchi with leek and pea shoot sauce

So. As usual I got that once a month nagging feeling that I had to take on some unnecessarily complicated and time consuming recipe, like when i tried to make my own Girl Scout Samoas, and more recently when I decided to make Pop Tarts. And maybe it was finally getting a crap ton of CSA potatoes and discovering they go bad in like, 3 days, so i have a super limited amount of time to use an extraordinary amount of potatoes, but I decided to make my own tri-color gnocchi withe the white, yellow, and purple potatoes, despite the fact that I live in an Italian neighborhood and could have gotten some on the corner. And then they didn’t even turn out to be gnocchi. BUT they are KICK ASS DUMPLINGS.

Serves – 4

Nutrition – whole foods get an A+ in my book.

Ingredients –

1 lb yellow potatoes*
1 lb purple potatoes*
1 lb white potatoes*
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium eggs*, lightly beaten

3 leeks*, sliced in to thin rings
1 giant bunch of pea shoots* major stems removed
1 good splash vino verde
2 TB butter
1 cup chicken stock
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB roughly chopped parsley
fresh ground sea salt and mixed peppercorns to taste

Optional – Parmesan block to slice on top.

Now. I was under the impression that it would take me about 2 hours to make these. I was wrong. It took me like, five hours to put this meal together. First of all, my oven sucks and it ended up taking an hour and fifteen minutes to roast my small potatoes, which is obnoxious. Regardless, here is what to do.

1. Scrub your taters clean! Especially with all these CSA potatoes, they are DIRTY! But gorgeous and yummy. Prick with a fork and place on a baking sheet, larger ones first, and bake until you can pinch them and leave a fingerprint. Then as they are ready, cut them in half to cool so you don’t burn yourself.

Put the potatoes through a potato ricer and in to a bowl. Now, I think part of my problem also became that the potatoes were different kinds and were very wet? But maybe that had nothing to do with it.

Add the lightly beaten egg and the salt to the potatoes and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the flour to the potatoes a little at a time. Knead the dough for about three or four minutes. Form the dough into two balls and then divide each into six pie-like slices.

You can tell in the above photo that my dough is too wet in the center. Again, I think it was the potatoes, and the CSA eggs were pretty big and really fluffy? I am unsure. I ended up rolling out each of the six piece in to a small ball with a handful of flour. Then I rolled each one in to a long tube about 1/2″ in diameter and the cut in to 1/2″ long pieces. This is when you are supposed to roll the pieces over a ridged gnocchi board, which i do own, in fact, it was purchased specifically for this project. But at this point I was tired and hungry and realized there were going to be a billion of them because I am incapable of making small portions because I love leftovers so much. I started rolling them, and it was too time consuming, and i could tell from the dough that they weren’t going to be the light, melty gnocchi i was originally after, so I just cut them and set them on a pan. Do not stack them! They will stick to eachother! Then start your water to boil while you make the sauce. To cook the gnocchi, toss them into a pot of boiling and well-salted water. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove and rinse to keep from sticking together once again.

For the sauce, heat the butter in sauce pan and when it is melted, add the leeks and stir for about 5-10 minutes. Then add the white wine, stir, stock, stir, salt, pepper and parsley, stir, and then add the pea shoots. When everything is soft, add the lemon juice and then either use an immersion blender (or a food processor or blender) to get everything nice and teensy and a really great texture. Spoon over gnocchi and shave some Parmesan on top! YUM! I paired mine with a pretty filet of red snapper that I sprinkled with salt and pepper, dragged through some flour, and fried in butter. Y’know. For health reasons.

Consensus – These are not true gnocchi. Gnocchi should be super light and melt on your tongue when made properly. The best I ever had, hands down, were at Locanda Locatelli in London. They were weightless. It was mind-blowing. THESE gnocchi are dense. BUT. REALLY FUCKING GOOD. I was eating them plain out of the colander while I was plating, and could have continued to do so. The three different types of potato really shone through (although it made for an odd color since i got lazy and blended them all) and I was actually very happy with myself. And thank baby jesus, cause there ain’t nothin worse than working that hard on food and then it turning out inedible.These were super yummy. And what else could I have done with all the leftovers but chicken and dumpling soup! Just toss a bunch of chicken, veggies and herbs in a slow cooker with some broth and then add the dumplings when there are only 10 minutes left! TA DA.

*CSA Ingredients

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