So this summer has been crazy hot here in LA and the humidity has been out of control! I’m originally from Chicago and this sticky, hot weather is all too familiar. I just really hate wet heat. Yuck. Unfortunately I’m not the type of person (aka a normal human being) that’s willing to not use my oven or stovetop just because of the heat, BUT I do get a little more strategic about my cooking when the weather gets this hot. For example, for today’s summer gnocchi, I baked the potatoes early in the morning or late at night, when my apartment is the coolest, then I made and formed the actual gnocchi during the day and stuck them in the freezer (they freeze SO WELL). Then I waited until the early evening, when the weather was starting to cool down, opened up all my windows and doors, to ensure a nice air flow going through my apartment and quickly, but carefully cooked up this tasty little number! I know the method seems both tedious and cray, but I promise it’s not that intense and it’s what keeps me cooking through the blistering heat! Do you guys have weird “summer’s here, but I don’t want my face to melt of while cooking” tips to help you cook through the hot summer months?!
Now onto this glorious gnocchi! I love a good gnocchi; light, fluffy, pillowy, and soft. I think this recipe hits that mark pretty well and don’t mind the seemingly millions of steps included, that’s mainly for gnocchi making newbies. I just want to make sure no panic ensues with making this dish. :) Also, because it’s summer we’ve incorporated sweet corn and zucchini. I love fresh corn and you’ll notice that aside from the charring, corn barely hits the heat before the dish is plated. Why? I think fresh, raw (sweet) corn is one of the best tasting things in the world! If you prefer your corn cooked through a little more, feel free to saute them for a couple minutes before pulling them from the heat. This dish is perfect for both entertaining or quite nights in and the recipe makes quite a bit of gnocchi, so you’ll have plenty to freeze and use for future occasions! Enjoy! xx, Jenny
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Summer Gnocchi (with Charred Sweet Corn and Zucchini)
- ½ pound (about 2 medium) russet potatoes scrubbed clean
- 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour (plus more for incorporating if needed and dusting)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Charred Sweet Corn and Zucchini
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 ears sweet corn, slightly charred and removed from the cob
- fresh thyme leaves
- fresh sweet basil leaves
- shaved ricotta salata
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Using a fork, prick holes all over each potato.
- Place the potatoes directly onto the center rack of the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until completely fork tender.
- Allow potatoes to cool for about 30 minutes. Peel and rice (using a potato ricer) onto a clean surface. **If you don’t have a ricer, gently grate potatoes on the fine setting of your box grater.
- Create a well in the center of your potato pile and fill with egg yolks, cheese, salt, pepper, and 1/2 of the flour. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the entire pile.
- Beat egg mixture with a fork, incorporating more and more of the potato and flour from the sides into the mixture and you mix.
- Continue to mix together until a crumbly and uneven pile forms. Using your hands, gently begin kneading the dough together until a smooth ball forms (adding 1 teaspoon of extra flour at a time, as needed); make sure not to overwork the dough.
- Lightly sprinkle the surface with flour and divide the ball of dough into 8 even sizes. Loosely cover all but one piece with a kitchen towel or lightly wet paper towel. Roll the reserved piece into an 18” long rope (about ½” thick) and cut out 20 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece through a gnocchi paddle to create ridges or just use the back of a fork.
- Repeat until all the dough has been used.
- Scatter gnocchi onto two lightly flour baking sheets (make sure they’re not touching), lined with parchment, cover with paper towels and refrigerate for 1 hour. **You can also freeze any excess of gnocchi you have for a later time! Freeze on the baking sheet before bagging up to ensure they don’t stick and freeze together!
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with a handful of salt.
- Add gnocchi to the boiling water, in batches, removing them as soon as they float to the surface. Repeat until all gnocchi have been boiled.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Continue to cook until butter begins to brown and releases a nutty aroma. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the heat up to medium-high and sauté the zucchini for 3 to 4 minutes. Add gnocchi and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until gnocchi begins to toast and zucchini has softened. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
- Add charred corn, toss together and quickly remove from heat.
- Transfer gnocchi to a serving platter and top with fresh thyme, basil and ricotta salata. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately.
- *Serves 4 (1/2 recipe of gnocchi)
- **For charred corn:
Place the ears of corn onto a baking sheet and set under a broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, turning every 30 seconds, until the corn is lightly charred all over.