On Wednesday we talked about how to make homemade gnocchi, but today we’re going to talk about what to do with it when you’re done and have approximately 1,112 freshly made gnocchi staring at you, just begging to be cooked off.
There are a million and one ways for you to dress your pillow-y pockets of dough, but for me, when it comes to homemade gnocchi, masking the pasta with a super thick sauce isn’t the route I typically like to steer towards. After all, all of that hard work you put into creating something from-scratch should be celebrated not smothered. Althoughhh, I might have to eat my words, because at this very moment, a picture of the gnocchi gently simmered in a slow-cooked pork ragu sounds pretty amazing….
But for now, we’ll keep things simple. My brown butter love knows no bounds so I have no shame in bringing it to the table yet again. It’s one of my all-time favorite – albeit excessively used –flavor weapons when it comes to pastas (and desserts and pretty much anything under the sun). It’s also something unequivocally fall to me, which in turn, musters up feelings of comfort and nostalgia, a great feeling to have when the weather is quickly turning from seriously hot to a blistery cold.
Once the butter is browned, I keep the temperature at a fairly high heat and (gently) throw the cooked gnocchi into the pan. The pan is tossed a few times until the gnocchi is completely covered in the butter, and then I let the little guys settle into the pan until they crisp up and become a golden brown.
At the last minute, a small handful of thyme leaves are tossed in, the pan is given another good shake and the gnocchi are ready to be served.
A final touch is a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts for texture and a dusting of grated parmesan cheese for another added element of nuttiness…and because of course, no pasta dish is complete without a little (or a lot!) sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
If you’ve made your gnocchi ahead of time, and stored them in the freezer, this is a meal that comes together in under 20 minutes. It’s simple enough for a quick weeknight dinner, but is upscale enough to serve at your finest dinner party on a Saturday night. Wherever, or whenever you serve it, you’re bound to finish your meal with a full, satisfied appetite.
- 1 batch homemade gnocchi
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6-8 thyme sprigs with leaves removed
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season liberally with salt. Turn the heat down to a slow-boil. Add gnocchi. Give them a stir to make sure they don’t stick together. Cook of 3-4 minutes until dough is cooked through and the gnocchi float to the top. Drain. While they are cooking, make the brown butter and toast the hazelnuts.
- Heat a medium non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add hazelnuts and cook until slightly toasted. Be careful not to burn. Remove from pan and return pan to stove.
- In the same pan, add butter. Let the butter melt, and when it starts to become brown, swirl the pan until it’s a deep brown and smells nutty.
- Season with a little bit of salt
- Add gnocchi and thyme leaves to brown butter. Once the gnocchi are completely coated in the sauce, let them crisp up on each side.
- Once the gnocchi are crisp transfer them to a serving dish and drizzle with remaining brown butter. Top with toasted hazelnuts and grated parmesan cheese.