Friday, 29 June 2007

Roasted Gnocchi & Asparagus

For some reason, I have been thinking of gnocchi lately. A little research revealed that they are best made with old potatoes - hurrah! An excellent use for the last bag of potatoes I bought, which are plainly no spring chickens, so to speak - the new crop will begin to appear within the month. I try not to eat wheat though, as it makes me break out into a rash. Hence the hunt for a different flour. These, I thought, were fair to good, being tender, if a little plain and with a distinct taste of barley to them. Fine with me; I like barley. I roasted half of them; the rest have been put in the fridge for another occasion. They look like they should keep for a day quite well.

2 servings of asparagus; 4 servings on gnocchi
1 hour 15 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Roasted Barley Gnocchi with AsparagusPotato & Barley Gnocchi:
500 grams old starchy potatoes (3 large)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup potato starch
1 cup barley flour

Bake the potatoes at 375°F until tender, about 45 minutes.

Let cool a few minutes, but as soon as they can be handled, peel them and put them through a food-mill. Alternatively, they can be grated or mashed.

Mix in the salt. Mix in the two flours, then turn out and knead until well amalgamated. Don't over-do it. These will not develop the sticky, bouncy quality of gnocchi made with wheat, so use a melonballer or spoon to form dumplings, and treat them gently.

Boil in plenty of salted water. Once they float to the surface, boil for two minutes more, then remove them with a strainer. They can be served with sauce now, or incorporated into roasted or sautéed dishes.

Final Assembly:
500 grams asparagus
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Wash the asparagus and break off the tough ends. Drizzle the olive oil in a large roasting pan. Gently toss in the asparagus and the boiled gnocchi. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

Roast at 450°F for 12 to 14 minutes, turning the asparagus once in the middle.

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