Tag Archives: gnocchi

FFWD: Storzapretis

Storzapretis

Happy French Friday!  This week’s recipe is one of those from the book that I never really noticed.  I just kind of glossed over it.  But then I read it, and it sounded good!  I think the problem is the name:  Storzapretis.  That doesn’t mean anything to me.  The subtitle has more meaning: Corsican Spinach and Mint Gnocchi.  That sounds more like something I can get into!

Storzapretis is a ricotta-based gnocchi from the island of Corsica.  It has a nice amount of spinach, as well as Gruyere and mint.  It is baked in a tomato sauce of your choosing (I used homemade roasted tomato sauce made from garden tomatoes that I had in the freezer).

It turns out this was a tricky one to make.  There was much discussion about how to best make this without having the gnocchi fall apart to bits while cooking.  My first attempt was very successful and I got a little cocky.  My second attempt was a disaster, and my third attempt was another success.  Here’s how it all went down:

1) The night I mixed up and formed the gnocchi, I cooked up half of them as directed after freezing them for half an hour to firm them up a bit.  I boiled them at a very low simmer and then they were baked with the tomato sauce with cheese sprinkled on top.  No gnocchi disintegrated, and they were delicious!  I took no pictures.

2) I had left the remaining gnocchi in the freezer over night.  The next day for lunch, the plan was to cook half the leftovers for the purposes of taking photos in natural light.  I plopped the frozen gnocchi into the lightly simmering water (Dorie said we could cook from frozen).  They disintegrated!  Only a couple of them stayed in any shape mildly resembling gnocchi, and they were very soft and misshapen.  Uh oh!

3)  Several Doristas had tried skipping the simmering step, and just baked the raw gnocchi in the tomato sauce.  I tried this with the rest of the leftovers – I had to get a photo!  Mine baked for quite a bit longer than directed since they were frozen, but it worked!  A delicious lunch and some beautiful photos.  Whew!

Storzapretis

My conclusion after all this, is that the Storzapretis are delicious to eat, but persnickety to make.  I wouldn’t make this for company unless I was sure I had perfected my technique.

If you would like to see how others fared, check it out here.

Have a great weekend!

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French Comfort Food

Gnocchi

If rich and creamy is the definition of comfort food, then this dish delivers!  It’s Gnocchi à la Parisienne from Around My French Table, and is this week’s selection for French Fridays with Dorie.

Gnocchi

The Boiled Gnocchi

It’s unlike any gnocchi I’ve ever had before.  In place of the traditional Italian potato dumplings, pâte à choux (cream puff dough) is used.  The dough is scooped by teaspoonfuls into boiling water and simmered briefly.  It is then smothered in a rich béchamel (white sauce), topped with grated cheese (I used Grèyere) and baked until brown and bubbly.

I did run into a few things while making this.  The gnocchi was a little difficult to drop into the boiling water.  I used a measuring teaspoon and a butter knife to drop them in.  My first few were a little big and took a while to cook through.  Also, none of them are the same shape or size.  The béchamel ended up being really thick.  It is supposed to be poured over the gnocchi, but instead I had to spread it over the top.  As a result I believe the béchamel didn’t enrobe all the dumplings as much as it was supposed to.

The word that kept coming to my mind while eating this was “ethereal”.  The gnocchi were amazingly light and airy.  How can something so rich be so light on the tongue?

Plated Gnocchi

My Daughter's Plate

I thoroughly enjoyed this dish, but my husband wasn’t quite so sure.  He said it seemed “less like a main dish and more like a pseudo dessert”.   It was only after this statement that I told him the recipe used cream puff dough!  I don’t think he cared for the texture – I’m guessing he was looking for something with a little more bite.  My 7 year old daughter seemed to enjoy it – although she loves any kind of carb baked with cheese!

While I enjoyed both making and eating this dish, it’s not something I will be making very often.  It was a lot of work to make the dumplings and assemble all the components, and I ended up with a lot of dirty pots and bowls.  I would like to try it again with a thinner béchamel.  I had fun making this – I learned some new techniques and I got to try something different to eat!

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