Gnocchi is a great side dish, but what about as the main dish? I wanted to rethink how I could make these delicious billowy cloud-like potato dumplings into something with a little more texture. I thought about changing the cooking process to a more Asian-style technique.
The traditional way to cook them is to drop them into boiling salted water. when they float to the surface they’re done. When you cook with Asian dumplings they’re sometimes pan-fried, first to give that crunchy exterior, then a splash of water is added, the lid is placed on, and they finish by steaming. This allows for the inside to have a creamy texture.
I decided to give this technique a try with gnocchi. For this challenge, rather than making the gnocchi from scratch, I decided to buy a good store-bought brand. It turns out, most grocery stores today carry fresh potato gnocchi so easy it’s easily available. This is my Pan Seared Gnocchi.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time Total: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Equipment: 2 (12-inch) sauté pans, 1 tight-fitting glass lid, chef’s knife
1 package of potato gnocchi
1/4 cup of orange bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup of red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup of yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons of red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons of celery, finely diced (optional)
1 tabespoons of Fresno chili, seeded and finely minced
2 garlic cloves, freshly minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 stick of butter, unsalted
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (more if you like)
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish
In a preheated sauté pan over medium-high heat add olive oil. Add the finely diced bell peppers, celery, and red onion, stirring frequently, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the veggies soften. Season with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper. Add the finely minced garlic and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
This next stage goes pretty fast. In another large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the entire package of gnocchi to the pan. Brown the gnocchi on the one side for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t disturb them. The gnocchi needs a chance to brown and caramelize. Once that happens, using a spatula, flip the gnocchi and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.
Next, add the water and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid (preferably a glass lid). The gnocchi will start to steam. Once all the water evaporates about 2 minutes, take the pan off the heat.
Transfer the gnocchi to a large serving bowl. Add the sautéed vegetables, toss to combine. Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top. Garnish with very finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot.
There you have it, my Pan Seared Gnocchi.