Potato Gnocchi with Escarole, Speck, Sweet Onions, and Fennel Pollen Recipe
There’s nothing quite as sublime as homemade gnocchi, and combined with a quick and easy pan sauce and speck, it’s sure to be a hit with guests. If you can't find speck, prosciutto makes a decent substitute, although speck's characteristic smokiness will be absent.
- 2 Idaho potatoes
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- 1/2 pound escarole
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 egg
- All-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 2 ounces speck, sliced, then cut into small dice
- 1 Vidalia onion, cut into small dice
- 4 ounces butter
- Pinch of chile flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon fennel pollen
- 3 teaspoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated, plus more to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes. When they are just cooked through, drain them. While still hot, carefully peel them and pass through a ricer or food mill. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap, and spread the riced potato on top to cool.
Take the cooled potato and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. On a work surface, form the potato into the shape of a donut. Put the egg in the middle of the well and begin to incorporate using a fork. Once the egg is mixed well with the potato, start adding slowly the flour to bind the dough. (You will need to put a little more flour than you would for a regular gnocchi dough so it will be a bit more pliable.) When you have achieved the desired dough texture, let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Take the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out into long cylindrical lengths, about ¼-inch in diameter and dust with flour. Cut the lengths into 1-inch pieces and either with the back of a fork or a store bought gnocchi board, roll them with your thumb. (You may freeze any extra for later use.)
Warm a large sauté pan over low heat. Add the onion and half of the butter and season with salt. Cook over a low heat until the onions are soft and there is no more moisture.
In the same sauté pan, add the escarole, chile flakes, and garlic and continue to sweat gently over low heat until translucent, but without achieving any color. Add the stock and remaining butter and reduce by half. When almost reduced, add the ramp greens, speck, fennel pollen, and parsley.
Meanwhile, bring a salted pot of water to boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi and cook until they rise to the top of the water and puff up. With a strainer, remove them from the water and add to the pan sauce. Season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and cheese. Transfer to plates and sprinkle with a little extra cheese.