Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gnocchi with Asparagus and White Truffle

While Australians and New Zealanders know April 25th as Anzac day, here in Italy it is also a special day - La Festa della Liberazione or Liberation Day - a celebration of the day Italy was finally liberated by the allies but also, a day to honor and commemorate the fallen.

It may seem a bit trite to move onto a recipe but food is very much a part of life and a part of any celebration, so for the occasion I've made something a little bit special - hand made gnocchi accompanied by two brilliant local products - asparagus and white truffle.

gnocchi with asparagus and white truffle© by Haalo

Gnocchi with Asparagus and White Truffle

For the Gnocchi:
500 grams potatoes (chose even sized, small potatoes)
150 grams plain flour, approx
For the sauce:
200 grams asparagus
sea salt and white pepper
finely grated parmesan
white truffle, finely sliced

Make the gnocchi:
Way back in 2006 I wrote a detailed post about making gnocchi and it still holds true. Choose smaller rather than bigger potatoes, make sure they are roughly the same size, boil them in their skins until tender and peel them while they are still warm.

gnocchi© by Haalo

Make the sauce:

Remove and discard the woody ends from the asparagus.

Slice off the asparagus heads and set to one side - if the heads are large, slice them in half lengthways. Slice the rest of the spear evenly into thin discs.

asparagus© by Haalo

Drizzle a little oil and a generous knob of butter into a skillet and place over a low heat - when the butter has melted add in the sliced asparagus along with a grinding of salt and white pepper and gently cook for a couple of minutes. Remove the asparagus from the pan and set to one side - add another large knob of butter and place back on a low heat. Cook this until the butter just starts to brown and add the asparagus heads and cooked asparagus to the pan.

At this stage you should cook the gnocchi - they will only take a minute or so. As they start to rise, remove them with a slotted spoon. Add them to the asparagus along with a sprinkling of finely grated parmesan and toss them gently through, making sure they are lightly coated in the browned butter.

Remove from the heat and tumble them out onto a warmed serving platter. At the table, finish off with a generous amount of finely sliced truffle.

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