Carrot Gnocchi: Seves 6-8
1 pound carrots (about 6-8 medium )
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
3 tablespoons onion or shallot , chopped fine
6 tablespoons All Purpose flour
2 egg yolks
10 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
fine sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg- if at all possible , grate your own nutmeg rather than opening a bottle of already ground nutmeg that has been sitting in that bottle for who knows how long.
6-10 fresh sage leaves
Oven to table 9 X 11 baking dish
Put a 2- 4 quart pot of water on to boil.
Scrub carrots, trim ends. Slice into 1 inch thick rounds . Drop the carrots onto boiling water, cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
Put 3 tablespoons butter and all the onions or shallots in a medium skillet, turn heat to medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally until all become a pale gold color.
Add carrots and cook 6- 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Put all in food processor and puree to a creamy consistency. It’s just fine if small bits of carrots and onion remain.
Turn puree into bowl and let cool completely.
OR, put the processor with puree in freezer for about 20 minutes to cool.
When puree is completely cool, add flour, egg yolks, 6 tablespoons of grated cheese, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mix thoroughly to combine all ingredients into a uniform batter.
The puree has to be cool for the batter to set up enough to form the gnocchi.
** Ahead of time** You can prepare the recipe to this point several hours in advance.
Turn on oven to 400′.
Bring water to boil in a broad shallow saucepan, and add 2 -3 tablespoons of salt.
Set a big bowl of water with ice nearby.
With a soup spoon, scoop up some of the carrot mixture. Holding a second spoon in your other hand and pointing the bowl of spoon in opposite directions, scoop mixture from spoon to spoon sideways forming an oval shape lump. Slide lump into boiling water. Working quickly, add another 4 or 5 carrot lumps to the pan. Cook for 6 or 7 seconds, until all rise to the surface. Retrieve them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Do this until all carrot mixture is formed and cooked.
Choose an oven to table baking dish that can accommodate all the gnocchi in one layer with out too much crowding. Lightly smear bottom with some of the remaining butter. Retrieve gnocchi from ice water and arrange them on the bottom of the buttered dish. Tear sage leaves into small pieces and scatter over gnocchi. Sprinkle gnocchi with grated cheese and dot with remaining butter.
Bake on top rack of preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
To be really decadent, treat yourself to sage browned butter for pouring over gnocchi.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
5- 8 teaspoons chopped or torn fresh sage plus 32 whole fresh sage leaves
melt butter, stir in torn sage leaves, barely simmer, stirring occasionally, 3-5 minutes. Butter will brown and your house will be filled with buttery sage aroma!
You can serve these gnocchi with any other sauce you like. Basil pesto thinned with a little more olive oil or a light fresh tomato sauce of squished tomatoes, basil and a little salt and pepper, cooked for just a few minutes to blend flavors.
Gnocchi are great the next day and if you are feeling inspired, double the recipe and freeze cooked gnocchi on a sheet pan til frozen, then bag and keep in freezer for a few months.