You say po-tah-to. No matter: He can cook gnocchi better than you.
Paul Virant, chef and owner of Vie, donated this recipe so you won’t look a fool at your next dinner party. (Yeah. Good luck with that.)
Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Tomatoes, Fennel, and Chevre
Serves four as an appetizer
1½ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, skin on
2 tbsp. butter, softened
Salt and pepper
2/3 c. flour
2 plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), split and roasted
¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
½ sweet onion, sliced
1 bulb fennel, sliced lengthwise, seasoned, brushed with olive oil, and grilled
1 c. chicken stock
2 tbsp. chopped herbs (tarragon, parsley, chives, chervil)
2 tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper
½ c. fresh chevre
1 c. bronze fennel, loosely packed
1. In a pot, bring water and potatoes to a boil. Simmer until tender (’til they can be easily pierced with a paring knife).
2. Peel and quarter. Dry in a 325° oven for about 20 minutes.
3. Pass potatoes through a ricer. Mix in butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add egg, mixing well.
4. Add flour, just to incorporate. Do not over mix.
5. Sprinkle flour on work surface. Roll dough into long, thin tubes (approximately one-inch diameter), and cut into bite-size pieces.
6. Blanch pieces in batches in salted, simmering water for about 1 minute or until gnocchi float.
7. Cool completely on oiled sheet pan. Reserve.
8. To make sauce, remove skin from tomatoes and dice. Heat olive oil in large saute pan. Add onions and fennel and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until pan is dry.
9. Add chicken stock and gnocchi. Cook until liquid reduces by half.
10. Add herbs and butter, season with salt and pepper, and divide among four plates. Garnish with chevre and bronze fennel.
Pasta la vista.
Or let Virant do it himself at Vie, 4471 Lawn Avenue, at Burlington Avenue, Western Springs (708-246-2082 or vierestaurant.com).
Photo: Sushi Ina / Flickr