I’m all for a DIY approach to making the components of any dish. That being said, there are certain shop-bought items that completely negate the need to do it yourself at home.
Courgetti and “boodles” (AKA butternut squash noodles) instantly come to mind. I’ve little to no interest in laboriously spiralizing courgettes for my dinner. The result will be the same as picking up a bag on the way back home, but with way less washing up.
Gnocchi, however, is a different story.
Sure sure, there’s a sprinkling of labour involved, but in my experience the resulting homemade version trumps shop-bought every time.
Try this fried parsnip gnocchi with herb butter and girolles and you’ll soon see.
Plus, rolling out the gnocchi dough is akin to playing with playdough and the nostalgia of simpler times that that provides is worth its weight in parsnips.
Shopping list (serves 4)
Parsnips (peeled, roughly chopped, and cored) x 600g
Large egg yolks x 3
Plain flour x 60g
White truffle oil x 2 tbsp
Butter & herb sauce:
Unsalted butter x 150g
Large shallot (very finely chopped) x 1
Smoked garlic cloves (finely chopped) x 2
Chives (very finely chopped) x 1 large handful
Sage leaves (very finely chopped) x 1 small handful
Girolles x 150g
Basil leaves to serve
A few parsnip peelings to serve
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the parsnips for 25 minutes. Remove and then allow to cool on some kitchen roll for about 30 minutes.
Use a ricer, or just mash the parsnips in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and flour, and combine well into a ball. Add more flour to bring it together, if necessary.
Use a flat surface with plenty of flour to roll out the gnocchi dough into three or four long sausages. Cut into around 4cm long pillows and set aside.
Bring another large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil, and drop the gnocchi in. After around five minuted they should float to the surface and you can scoop them out and leave on some kitchen paper. Unless you have a gigantic saucepan, you are almost certainly going to do this in batches, to avoid crowding the pan.
Melt the butter in another saucepan with the shallot and garlic for five minutes over a high heat. Add the herbs and reduce the heat down to low, swirling regularly for another five minutes and seasoning heavily with salt and black pepper.
At the same time, fry the cooked gnocchi pillows with a glug of oil, a knob of butter and a sprinkling of salt. Keep the heat on high and toss regularly for around five minutes until evenly browned, before adding the girolles with a few curls of parsnip peel.
Turn the heat down to medium and cook for another five minutes.
Serve the gnocchi and girolles drenched in the butter sauce, and topped with the crispy parsnip peel.