Gnocchi Gratin with Gorgonzola
“Gnocchi is one of the world’s great comfort foods,” says Wolfgang, “and that makes it fun to serve at a fancy party. Unlike some versions that are more rib-sticking, these puff up nice and light, so they go well with an eclectic menu like this one, which has lots of small bites and intense flavors.” If you’re not partial to Gorgonzola, he suggests substituting Parmesan or Pecorino Romano.
To make the gnocchi, in a saucepan, combine the potatoes with water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and when cool enough to handle, scrape off the skins. Pass the potatoes through a food mill or ricer.
Dust a work surface with flour, and mound the potatoes on the work surface. Make a well in the center, and add the egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, flour, and Parmesan cheese to the well. Gently fold together all the ingredients until they are evenly incorporated. To test if the dough is ready, press it with your finger. If the indentation pops back, the dough is ready to roll.
With a knife, cut the dough into several sections On a floured work surface, using your fingers and palms, gently roll each section into a rope about 1 inch in diameter. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch lengths.
Preheat the broiler to 550°F. Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and boil for about 2 minutes, or until they float. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a platter.
In a broiler-proof sauté pan, combine the butter and cream over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until the cream is reduced by half. Add the gnocchi and turn gently to coat with the sauce. Gently stir in the Gorgonzola; do not allow it to dissolve, or it will be gritty.
Slide the sauté pan under the broiler and broil just until the gnocchi are browned. Transfer to a warmed platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.
Chef's Notes: Think Drinks! “The evening is all about celebrating,” says Wolfgang, “and nothing goes with a celebration better than Champagne. This is a great time to splurge and try something really special.” A crisp, dry bubbly will go with everything on this menu, from the appetizers to the dessert. Krug and Veuve Clicquot are two of Wolfgang’s favorites.
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