Monday, August 16, 2010

Gnocchi with Wild Boar

Lochlan is usually all superheroes and playforts; except when it comes to cooking, and one of his absolute favourites to help out with is gnocchi! I have looked through tons of gnocchi recipes, but I think with this classic italian dish simple is better. My gnocchi has only 3 ingredients. Potatoes, flour and salt.

This is terribly easy to make, but it is time consuming, and you will probably end up with quite a mess- regardless of whether you have a kid helping or not.

Put a few potatoes into the microwave to cook. No need to poke holes in the skins, the steam helps cook the potato faster.

Once they are cooked, remove them from the microwave and cut into 1/4ths. Let them cool a bit on the counter until you can handle them. They need to be very warm while you work them, or else your gnocchi will turn to gunk. Scoop the potatoes out of the skins and into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt.

Now this isn't an exact science, I generally use 1 potato per person, so your recipe will always differ depending on the size of the potatoes, and the amount you are cooking.

Break up the potato pieces with a pastry blender and dump the whole mess on to the counter. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time and start to knead just like bread. you will feel when your dough is ready. It will feel just like pizza dough. Light, yet will still hold together when you pinch it.

to test your gnocchi pick a marble sized piece off and drip into boiling water. If it disintegrates, you need more flour.

Break your dough into pieces, and roll into long "snakes." cut into 1 inch pieces, and roll with a fork. Set on a floured jelly roll pan.

To cook the gnocchi, drop into salted boiling water. They will float to the top when they are done, scoop them out with a slotted spoon, and place in a colander. Repeat with all gnocchi.

A plain marinara sauce, or browned butter sage sauce are wonderful with this. There are endless possibilities. I chose a spicy wild boar ragout.

I am fortunate that there are locally raised wild boar, which I can pick up at the local farmers market. For this recipe I chose some chops.

heat olive oil in a pan

Cut the boar into 1/4 inch cubed- yes, this seems daunting, but just do it :P

Cook in the pan until the outsides are browned about 4 minutes. remove from pan with a slotted spoon

to the pan, now add

1 onion chopped
3 carrots peeled and sliced
spicy italian salami slices, cut into small pieces
garlic minced

Combine these ingredients in the pan, cook until the onion is translucent.

Put the boar back into the pan

Pour red wine (about 1 cup) into deglaze the pan. after about 1 minute, add 1t tomato paste (get the stuff in the tube!)

Add 2c chicken, or veg broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, and put lid on the pan.

Cook for 20-90 minutes, depending on your timeline.

Serve gnocchi in a bowl, with wild boar ragout on the top. Shave some reggiano or peccorino on top and enjoy with a nice glass of red wine...or chocolate milk.

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