Devil’s Club Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce
Adapted from Molto Mario by Mario Batali
Fresh and slightly resiny devil’s club shoots make wonderful gnocchi that are perfectly balanced by deliciously creamy gorgonzola sauce. I’ll definitely make this again. I also tried Devil’s Club Gnocchi with a quick tomato sauce. This flavor combination didn’t work. Or maybe it’s just gorgonzola sauce was so much better the tomato-devil’s club combination paled in comparison. To prepare the devil’s club shoots, blanch them in salted, boiling water, squeeze out as much water as possible (this is easiest to do using a clean dish towel as a wringer). For how to gather, clean, and blanch devil’s club shoots, go here.
2 cups cleaned, blanched, and wrung-out devil’s club shoots
1 pound potatoes
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 – 1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups crumbled gorgonzola (6 ounces)
1/4 cup butter (2 ounces – 1/2 stick)
2 Tbsp. Pernod
1/2 tsp. Aleppo pepper (optional)
Finely ground black pepper
1/4 chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped chives
Make Gnocchi: Finely chop devil’s club leaf shoots in a food processor (or with a knife). Cut potatoes in large chunks and cook them in boiling salted water until tender. Peel potatoes and put them through a food mill (or whip until very smooth). Mix devil’s club, potatoes, egg, and salt (don’t use a food processor for this step).
Stir in 3/4 cup flour. Dump dough on floured surface. Knead lightly, adding flour as necessary to prevent dough from being sticky.
Divide dough into 2” balls. Using your fingertips, and working on a floured surface, roll out each ball into a long, 3/4” diameter rope. Cut rope into 3/4” pieces. To make ridged gnocchi, roll each piece of dough off the back of a fork, pressing lightly down as you roll. Put finished gnocchi on lightly floured surface, in a single layer.
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Put 1/3 of gnocchi in the boiling water. When they float, use a slotted spoon to remove them to a bowl of ice water. Cook remaining 2 batches of gnocchi the same way and put them in ice water. Drain well.
Make Sauce: In a pan large enough to hold all the gnocchi, melt gorgonzola and butter over medium heat. Stir in Pernod, Aleppo pepper, and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook until liquid evaporates, 4 – 5 minutes. Add gnocchi, and toss to distribute sauce. Add parsley and half the chives and toss again. Divide between 4 plates and sprinkle with remaining chives. Serve immediately.
Variation: Spinach Gnocchi
Replace devil’s club with 2 pounds fresh spinach (2 bunches) that have been washed, blanched, and wrung out. (Wash spinach and remove stems. Blanch in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Remove spinach to bowl of ice water. Drain and squeeze out as much water from spinach as possible; this is easiest to do using a clean dish towel as a wringer.