Springing into Gnocchi!
A Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Pepper Coulis Recipe.
I recently attended the Edible Canada Market Dinner with Anna Olsen on Granville Island and posted her recipe for Fiddlehead Salad with Pickled Red Onions & Maple Toasted Pecans. All of her recipes were seasonally driven and inspired by Spring time ingredients. The 5 course menu included Fiddlehead Salad, Goat Cheese Gnocchi, Roasted Halibut, Earl Grey Chiffon Cake and a Cookie Plate. I was a bit surprised to see the gnocchi as a course since it’s usually associated with Winter, but Chef Anna’s intention was to make gnocchi suitable for the warmer weather.
She started her gnocchi demonstration by asking who still made perogies from scratch, so this was her counting the hesitant raise of arms which was maybe 2 out of 60 people. There is just something about making gnocchi, pasta, or dumplings from scratch that seems too labour intensive and complicated. I mentioned in my previous post that her recipes were made for simple entertaining, and judging from her demonstration, these gnocchi seemed no different. Here is her recipe!
On the table:
Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Pepper Coulis Recipe
Since the kitchen team at Edible Canada was responsible for making the dish for over 60 people that evening, I can’t say it was representable of the recipe which was intended for small scale cooking at home. In theory the recipe makes sense though and by substituting the traditional potato for a combination of goat cheese and cream cheese it took away the density while adding a creamy richness. However I actually don’t find well made gnocchi dense. The Northern Italian style gnocchi is very tender, pillowy and soft. I would recommend trying this type of gnocchi from La Quercia, Federico’s Supper Club or Potobello Ristorante.
What stood out about this course was the pepper coulis and I could honestly make a batch and keep a jar in the fridge to use throughout the week. It was very simple, but there was a bright acidity to it which surprised me since there was no lemon. It was likely due to the quality of the wine they used and the acidity in that, so as always I recommend using a wine you would drink and one with acidic notes. The red bell pepper flavour was dominant and sweet and it would work well served with grilled fish or even as a substitute for tomato sauce on pizza.
Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Pepper Coulis Recipe
This recipe is compliments of Anna Olsen’s recipe book Fresh with Anna Olson.
- ¼ cup olive oil 60 mL
- 1 cup diced onion 250 mL
- 2½ cups diced red bell pepper 625 mL
- ¾ cup dry white wine 185 mL
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme 2 sprigs
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano 2 sprigs
- salt & pepper
Goat Cheese Gnocchi
- 4 oz fresh goat cheese, at room temperature 125 g
- 4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature 125 g
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped green onion 45 mL
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 30 mL
- 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest 15 mL
- 2 eggs, separated 2
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 250 mL
- ½ tsp salt 2 mL
1. For the pepper coulis, heat the oil in a saucepot over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the peppers and sauté for 3 minutes more. Add the wine and herbs and simmer, covered, until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and purée. Strain, season, and set aside.
2. For the gnocchi, beat the goat cheese and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in the green onion, parsley, lemon zest, and egg yolks until smooth. Fold in the flour. Whip the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks and fold into the goat cheese mixture in 2 additions.
3. Bring 16 cups (4 L) water to a boil and salt generously. Cut the dough in half. Roll out 1 piece into a log shape about ¾-inch (2 cm) in diameter and cut it into ½-inch (1 cm)
pieces. Place on a floured tray and repeat with the second piece of dough. Drop the gnocchi into the water in 2 batches and simmer until they float, about 3 minutes. Gently remove with a slotted spoon.
4. To serve, heat the coulis and spoon it into a flat-bottomed bowl. Gently place gnocchi on top.
- Regardless of where you live, early to late spring is peak season for hothouse produce. Buying local hothouse peppers, tomatoes, and cukes is a perfect way to shop locally and enjoy great-tasting produce after a long winter.
- When handling and rolling out the gnocchi dough, feel free to generously flour your work surface and hands—these gnocchi will still remain soft and fluffy. The dough is delicate but not fragile, moist but not too sticky either. Once you cook them and taste your first one, you’ll see what I mean!
- This pepper sauce is simple and bright. If you don’t want to use wine, simply substitute the same measure of water plus 1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice in its place.