Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November Project: Starter, Again

The final product: Gnocchi di Zucca e Amaretti con Sage Hazelnut Pesto.

Let's go back to the beginning.

Sage, Hazelnut, Ricotta Salata Pesto from melissav at Food 52
  • 1/4 cup sage, chopped
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TB ricotta salata, crumbled or chopped until a medium fine crumble
  • salt
(1) Warm 3 TB olive oil, sage, and garlic in a small pan over very low heat just until the oil bubbles. Pour in a small bowl, reserving the garlic clove.

Side note: the above garlic clove is WAY too big. I would use about a quarter of it. My pesto was completely overpowered by the garlic. 

(2) Place the toasted hazelnuts in mini food processor along with the garlic clove and process until a fine crumble and add to the bowl (alternatively, you can do by hand or in a mortar and pestle).
(3) Add the cheese to the bowl along with 1-2 TB more olive oil and stir until combined and salt to taste. This is not a traditional pesto - more nutty than herby and not so much oil.
Another side note: ricotta salata is not just fresh ricotta that you salt. I wasn't sure what it was until the Segnora at my local Italian deli explained it to me - and told me that she doubted I would be able to find it anywhere in the city - unless I wanted to order 10 pounds of it from her supplier. I politely declined, called around, and eventually did find it. It is something akin to a peccorino - but not exactly.

As this is the case, I dropped the gnocchi out of the water and into a little sage butter before the pesto. If you are serving this as a starter, I recommend only six - eight smaller or medium sized gnocchi as they are quite substantial and you don't want people to fill up before the bird comes out of the oven.

The taste testers approved. Aside from the garlic and the portion size, their feelings about the plain pumpkin gnocchi vs. the pumpkin amaretti gnocchi were divided. It's what one would call a geschmacksache in German. A matter of taste. Though we all thought the amaretti were slightly denser in consistency - which can be corrected by adding less amaretti or less flour.

Buon Appetito!

No comments:

Post a Comment