Homemade Gnocchi with Asparagus, Peas & Prosciutto
Gnocchi has always seemed like one of those simple yet intimidating foods — too delicate and finicky a project to attempt at home. Even at restaurants, we’ll find ourselves peering through the swinging doors to see if Nonna is in the back rolling them out. But this recipe, developed in our test kitchen, has changed our minds: Yes, there are a dozen or so steps, but they’re relatively easy and so worth it. This is a labor of soft, pillowy potato love.
We have stolen a few tips from the test kitchen’s notebooks. The first is that temperature matters: don’t burn yourself with the hot potatoes, but do mill them and make the dough as soon as they’re safe to touch. Second, if the dough is wet or sticky, add a little more flour. You want the dough to be tacky to dry — workable, but not dense. And third, stay cool, but work quickly; the dough is easiest to roll when it’s warm.
We love these gnocchi: The potato-to-flour ratio is just right, so they have a nice potato flavor, and a faint egginess shines through. And they have an admirable density — so pillowy and tender, they practically melt in your mouth.
Here, we’ve married that beautiful texture with a bunch of flavor. It’s a recipe that reminds us of spring, really. We sauté asparagus tips, peas, sun-dried tomatoes, and aromatics in olive oil. When the vegetables are just beginning to brighten, we create a simple sauce by finishing them with white wine, lemon juice, and a generous knob of butter. Topped with thin shavings of nutty Grana Padano cheese, silky prosciutto, and pungent chives, it’s an elegant dish — so full of contrast that every bite is something new and lovely.
Gnocchi will always be an impressive and guest-worthy dish, but it’s also the one we want to make for an easy Saturday night with the S.O. Think couch, think at least five episodes of whatever show you’re crushing on — and think sweatpants, because this dish is so comforting and delicious, you’re going to polish it off.
Our tip: Once you’ve mastered the gnocchi, consider making a double batch. You can keep the leftovers in the refrigerator and pair them with whatever herbs you’ve got around for an easy, satisfying dinner or lunch. Gnocchi is also pretty darn dreamy with just butter, salt, and pepper.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup asparagus tips, about an inch long
1 shallot, julienned
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup shelled fresh peas
2 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1 ½ lb potato gnocchi, cooked (recipe below)
Kosher salt, to taste
2 oz prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces
2 oz Grana Padano cheese, shaved
2 Tbsp chopped Gelson’s organic fresh chives
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus tips and sauté until bright green, about 2 minutes.
Add the shallot and garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the peas and sun-dried tomatoes, toss to incorporate, and sauté for another minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the white wine. Return the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Allow the wine to reduce by half.
Add the chicken stock and reduce by half again, stirring occasionally.
Add the butter, lemon juice, and gnocchi. Toss to combine. Continue to toss the gnocchi until the butter has melted, the sauce has thickened a bit, and the gnocchi is hot all the way through.
Season with salt to taste.
Divide among 4 bowls. Garnish with a crack of black pepper, torn prosciutto, Grana Padano, and chives.
1 ½ lbs russet potatoes
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for boiling water
1 large Gelson’s egg
Black pepper, to taste
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
Optional special tools: bench knife and food mill.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Using a paring knife, pierce the potatoes all over, and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Allow the potatoes to cool, just until you can handle them. (You will work with warm potatoes.)
In a large pot, boil salted water.
While the water is heating, cut the potatoes in half and scoop the flesh out of the potato skins. Transfer the flesh to a bowl and discard the skins.
Pass the potato flesh through a food mill into a large mixing bowl, or mash until an even consistency has formed.
Add the egg, salt, pepper and about half of the flour. Mix with your hands to combine. Add the remaining flour and mix until a dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough with the palms of your hands for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth. Add more flour if the dough feels wet and sticky. The dough should feel tacky to dry, but not dense.
Using a bench knife or a chef’s knife, cut the dough into 4 equal parts.
Dust the work surface with more flour. Using your hands, gently roll out one quarter of the dough into a ¾-inch diameter rope. Lightly dust the rope with a little flour. Using a bench knife, cut the rope into ¾-inch pieces.
Using the back of a fork, gently press the tines into the gnocchi and roll backward a half turn. Repeat with each piece. Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a large, lightly floured sheet pan, making sure not to stack them.
Repeat steps 10 to 11 until all of the dough has been cut into gnocchi.
Gently drop about half of the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until they float. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil, tossing to coat. Continue until all of the gnocchi have been cooked and drizzled with oil.
The gnocchi can be served hot — or cooled and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.