I once heard that the goodness in carrots helps get over jet lag. I’m currently at Heathrow airport, only a fraction into the 30-hour journey from Italy to Australia, which takes me through five airports and throws me 10 hours ahead to get from one home to the other. I think I’m going to need some carrots.
This wonderful gnocchi recipe came to mind. It’s a unique and a beautiful dish that was made for me by my roommate from college, Sara, a talented and quirky Italian photographer from near Venice. Silky, light and sweet, she served them piping hot and very simply with melted butter and Parmesan cheese.
As these remind me more of Tuscan gnudi (“naked” ravioli, made with spinach and ricotta) than traditional gnocchi, I am rather inclined to add some fresh sage leaves to the sauce as you do for gnudi. - Emiko
Test Kitchen Notes
Emiko's Carrot Gnocchi with Butter and Sage Sauce is a tasty twist on a classic. Surprisingly quick to make, the carrot gnocchi are very light with the perfect hint of nutmeg. The sage butter sauce takes about 3 minutes to make—super simple—and coats the gnocchi beautifully. Note: When shaping the gnocchi, flour your surface really well—this is a wet mixture. —jvcooks
Boil or steam (I prefer steaming) the carrots until tender, then squash them with a fork or a potato masher until you get a mash. Let cool.
In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, egg yolk, flours and parmesan cheese until combined. Add the cooled carrot mash and season with salt and nutmeg.
With two tablespoons, make quenelles out of one tablespoon of the mixture (if you can’t get these right you can also simply roll them into ping pong sized balls), placing them on a lightly floured surface until you’ve finished.
Heat a large pot of salted water to boil and drop in the gnocchi. Give a gentle stir to make sure they are not stuck to the bottom of the pot. Let boil for several minutes, when they begin to float they are ready. Reserve some of the liquid from boiling, and strain the rest. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.
The sage and butter sauce should take you about 3 minutes to make at the most. Melt the butter in pan and allow to colour slightly. At this point, add the sage and then some of the reserved cooking liquid to create a sauce that you want to just coat the gnocchi. Let it reduce for two minutes, then add the gnocchi to the pan, turn off the heat, season and divide onto plates. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.