Beet Gnocchi


Sounds strange, doesn’t it?

In honor of Valentine’s Day, my friend Caroline and I decided to make beet gnocchi. Ok, it was more in honor of our obsession with beets, but we are going to pretend that Valentine’s Day had something to do with it. We have impeccable timing.

I have to admit that I was slightly skeptical that the gnocchi would somehow taste strange. I was even more concerned that my entire kitchen would be dyed pink from beet juice. I am proud to report that neither of these occurred. Wooden cutting boards remain the color of the tree from which they were made. My fingers are still their natural hue. These gnocchi were delicious with just the slightest hint of beets.

The only drawback to this recipe was how long it took to make. Making the dough, shaping the gnocchi and cooking them took 30-45 minutes. Steaming the potatoes: took 12. Cooking the beets: TOOK FOREVER. We roasted ours, which wound up taking 40 minutes to one hour. That, my friends, is a very long time on an empty stomach.

So, my advice: find a better way to cook your beets. Or, preempt your stomach and don’t start making these at noon like we did. In any case, these were delicious, and, next to some salad and slightly massacred artichokes (a story for another time), their ruby hue was stunning. Additionally, we steamed our potatoes, as the original recipe suggested, and I refuse to boil them ever again for gnocchi! These were far fluffier than any I have made before.

Overall, a great dish, possibly more so as I now want to try make spinach gnocchi and experimenting with other vegetables in pasta. I hope you enjoy these as much as Caroline and I did!

Beet Gnocchi
Recipe adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

*Note: The original recipe called for 14 oz of potatoes, but we used a bit more as I just had some on hand. Additionally, the recipe called for a variety of flours to make the gnocchi gluten free. Safeway, however, lacks the variety of flour featured in the original recipe, so we stuck with all-purpose which tasted juuuuust fine.

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz beets – cooked and diced
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted pistachios and mustard vinaigrette for serving

Directions:

  • First, steam your potatoes: cut the potatoes into about 1.5 inch cubes, and steam for 12-15 minutes. The potatoes are ready when you can easily insert a knife into a piece of potato. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before handling.
  • Once your potatoes have cooled to room temperature, rice them along with your beets into a large bowl or onto a cutting board. Spread out to let them cool.

  • Make a pile of the riced potatoes and beets, then make a well in the center. Add in your egg and slowly begin to incorporate it.
  • Once the egg has been completely mixed in, begin adding your flour. Start by adding a half cup. You don’t want your dough to be too wet that it doesn’t hold its shape, but also not so dry that it crumbles. You are looking for something that looks a bit like cottage cheese’s texture without being as moist. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Then, begin shaping the gnocchi. Cut the dough into four pieces, and roll each into a robe – about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces, then role along the tines of a fork, applying just enough pressure to make ridges on one side and an indent where your thumb was on the other. Toss in a little bit of flour and continue with the remaining dough.

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in a few gnocchi at a time (we cooked about 12 at once), being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Once the gnocchi come to the surface, let them cook for a minute or so, then remove with a slotted spoon to a colander.

  • Top with your favorite mustard vinaigrette and some pistachios and serve warm!

Serves 3.

 

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