cow parsnip gnocchi
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Cow Parsnip Gnocchi with Carrot Consomme

]Don't get all hung up on the cow parsnip aspect of this dish. I use it because I know where to find it, and because the flavor works well. Any green will do, as I mention above. Do get all hung up about the timing of the gnocchi, however. Make the dough right before you cook the dumplings, otherwise you will find yourself needing a lot more flour -- and your gnocchi will be heavier. You can make the carrot broth up to a day ahead. I will serve this recipe as either part of a larger, longer meal, or as a light summer dinner. You can fill yourself up on these gnocchi, but it's more fun to serve this soup with, say, a salad and some seared duck breast or a grilled steak. This is really not that hard a dish to make. Honest.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Author: Hank Shaw

Ingredients

RICOTTA GNOCCHI

  • 2 ounces cow parsnip leaves, blanched and squeezed (about 15 to 20 small, young leaves)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (more or less, see below)

CARROT CONSOMME

  • 1 pound of carrots
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt

Instructions

  • Start by making the consomme. Peel the carrots and chop them roughly. Pulse them in a food processor (or chop them fine) until they are in little bits, but not pureed.
  • Put the carrot in a heavy, lidded pot and cover it with the water. Bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the pot and let this steep for 1 hour.
  • Strain the broth through a fine-meshed sieve lined with either cheesecloth or a paper towel. Clean out the pot and return the strained broth to it. Set aside for the moment.
  • Once the carrot broth is steeping, get a large pot of water ready; this is what you'll cook the gnocchi in. When it's boiling, add enough salt to make it taste like the sea.
  • While the gnocchi water is ready, start by boiling the parsnip leaves for 2 minutes. Remove and submerge in a large bowl of ice water. Take the leaves out and squeeze the excess moisture from them. Mince them well, but do not puree -- unless you want green gnocchi, which is an option.
  • Mix the cow parsnip, ricotta, salt, nutmeg, pecorino and eggs together in a bowl. Add enough flour to that the dough comes together in a mass that can be kinda-sorta kneaded, but not really. Soft, pliable, and just a little sticky. The better you get at making gnocchi, the less flour you will need. Start with about 1 1/2 cups.
  • Shape the gnocchi dough into a rectangle (ish) in the bowl and cut it into equal pieces. Take one out and put it on a well-floured surface. Gently roll it into a log about as thick as your thumb and forefinger put together; for me this is a little less than 1 inch thick. You might need to cut the log into serviceable sections. Set those aside and work on manageable lengths.
  • Use a knife to cut the log into gnocchi about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. They will look a little like pillows. Gently roll them around in the flour to coat the cut edges, otherwise you run the risk of a gnocchi glob in the pot when you cook them. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the dough.
  • To finish, heat the carrot broth until it steams. Do not boil it. Add salt to taste. Boil the gnocchi until they float, and then for 1 minute more. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to individual bowls and pour the carrot broth over them.