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Sweet Pea Gnocchi

(recipe, Caroline Lewis)

Introduction

This recipe is from our friend Paul James, owner of the exquisite Indian restaurant Ooloonthoo in Roatan, Honduras. Paul loves peas more than anyone we know — he even founded the tongue-in-cheek Secret Society of the Pea on Facebook, where he posted this delicious recipe. We’ve converted it from the original metric quantities.

Ingredients

  1. 7½ oz. potatoes (about two medium potatoes)
  2. 14 oz. sweet peas (petit pois), shucked (should weigh about 5½ ounces)
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1 egg
  5. ⅔ cup flour
  6. Splash of olive oil
  7. Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish

Steps

  1. Peel the potatoes and quarter them. Put them in cold salted water (so they don't turn brown) and simmer over medium heat until fork-tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Once cooked, drain well and place on a parchment-papered baking sheet. Dry out further in a slow oven (80 degrees C, 150 degrees F) for another 5 minutes to get rid of any excess moisture. Be careful not to brown them in the oven.
  2. Blanch the peas in simmering salted water until done, about 4 to 5 minutes. Refresh under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and purée in a blender. Save a few whole peas for decoration if desired.
  3. Put the potatoes in a ricer and rice, or mash with a fork. Add the pea purée and mix well.
  4. Add salt to taste, the egg, and the flour, little by little. Mix well. Add a splash of olive oil. The dough should be a little sticky.
  5. Heat a skillet with 3 inches of water to a slow simmer. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a snake and cut into small squares or rectangles. Add them to the water.
  6. Once the dumplings float to the surface, remove them gently with a slotted spoon and transfer them to an ice-water bath. (Before removing them from the simmering water, it's a wise idea to try one and see if it's done in the middle.) The gnocchi can remain in the ice bath for a few minutes without coming apart.
  7. Remove the gnocchi from the ice bath and place on a tray and refrigerate. They will form a slight skin, which protects them when reheated.
  8. Reheat the gnocchi in a nonstick pan over medium heat with a little olive oil and butter. Garnish with sweet peas and shaved Parmesan.

Note

Resist the temptation to add more flour. This takes away from the flavor of the gnocchi and makes them tough. Also, you can fill a pastry bag with the dough and slice them into simmering water as you squeeze the dough through the tip.