Sunday, 11 October 2015

Asparagus Cream Gnocchi

NAME: _Asparagus Cream Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
couple of bunches of saparagus
500g - 1kg of potato gnocchi
around 1/2 cup each of sour cream and thickened cream
50 - 100g butter
water
(See NOTES)

METHOD:
Wash the asparagus and cut as much as you can into 5cm cylinders. At a certain point along the stalk, it will become too woody to make a really nice dish, so I prefer to use that bit for stocks and other meals. (Leave the tips whole if you prefer.) Divide into two equal portions.

(Also, see NOTES for a way to save time by cooking ahead.)

Melt half the butter in a saucepan and add one portion of asparagus. Add a few tablespoons of water to steam asparagus. Keep an eye on it and stir as it simmers. Meanwhile start to boil enough salted water to cook the gnocchi in.

When the asparagus is deemed soft enough, transfer to a heat-proof bowl and blend / puree to a soft smooth paste. Put the other half of the butter and the remaining asparagus into the saucepan and again simmer with small amounts of added water to steam the asparagus to desired texture, meanwhile place the gnocchi in the boiling salted water and wait for it to float.

While the gnocchi are cooking add the pureed asparagus back to the saucepan with the second portion and stir, adding sour cream and cream. Don't let it boil, just keep it below a simmer, until the gnocchi have floated for around four minutes.

At that point, drain the gnocchi and place in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the asparagus sauce and increase heat, stirring constantly.

When the sauce is just about boiling you'll observe it to thicken noticeably, at this point, remove from heat and transfer to serving dish.

SERVING:
Serve immediately, with grated cheese if desired.

NOTES:
I've deliberately left the quantities vague, around three bunches of asparagus (18 or so thick stalks) is generally enough to use with a kilo of gnocchi.

Cook-ahead: I also buy asparagus when it's on special and process it to the puree stage and divide it into portions of approximately 9 - 10 stalks (around 1 cup of puree) and freeze, that way all I need to do is buy fresh asparagus to simmer and add a portion of pre-blended asparagus and the meal's pretty much made. Not sure how long it keeps in the freezer, ours never lasts more than two months. %)

ENJOY!

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