Gnocchi with Baby Peas
Gnocchi are a bit of a project, but well worth the effort for a special meal. If you have a small cookie scoop, use it to make fast work of portioning the dough.
- 1 lb. Swiss chard, stems removed
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 ½cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup semolina flour, plus more for rolling and dusting
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped (2–3 Tbs.)
- 1 ½cups frozen baby peas
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
- Juice of ½ lemon
1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Cook chard 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted and tender. Drain in colander, and refresh under cool running water 20 seconds. Squeeze out excess moisture with hands, and finely chop. Fan out chopped leaves on dish towel, and roll tightly to squeeze out excess moisture.
2. Whisk together egg yolks, ricotta, and Parmesan in bowl until smooth. Stir in chard, then fold in all-purpose and semolina flours. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. Dust baking sheet with a little semolina flour. Scoop 1 Tbs. dough onto floured work surface. Roll between floured hands in circular motion to form ball using as little pressure as possible, then roll back and forth between palms to form oval. Place on semolina-dusted baking sheet.
4. Fill large pot with 3 inches water,
and bring to a boil over medium heat. Drop 12 gnocchi into water, and stir to separate. Bring to gentle simmer.
(Small bubbles should break surface
of water around edges, not bubble up from bottom of pot.) Reduce heat to maintain temperature. Poach gnocchi
6 to 8 minutes, or until they rise to top of water. (Cut into center of one to test for doneness; it should be same consistency throughout.) Transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. Keep warm. Reserve cooking water.
5. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add shallot, and cook
2 minutes, or until soft. Add peas and
1 cup cooking water. Cook 3 minutes,
or until peas are tender, stirring often. Stir in tarragon and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
6. Divide gnocchi among bowls, and top with peas and sauce.
March 2012 p.48