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Authentic Gnocchi in a Savory Mushroom Sauce

One thing is for certain no matter how you make your gnocchi there are as many different ways in Italy to do it as there are regions in the country and each varies from the next from everything that goes into them to the cooking process with many being boiled and some even being done in the oven. In some areas they are made with spinach in the mix while in other areas they are served up with truffle oil on them giving them a very rich taste.

It is one of Italy’s true ancient dishes dating back to the Roman era and most likely originating in the Middle Eastern region although it is not totally certain. A more modern adaptation of the dish is the use of potato in the mix this is not as old and didn’t become a variation until the potato was introduced into Europe. The French also have their own variation of this called “gnocchi à la parisienne” which is a hot meal made of gnocchi formed with pastry dough and served with a Béchamel sauce.

In this dish I serve it with a rich and hardy meat and mushroom sauce with the addition of garlic and onions just because I think all these ingredients go so well together. It is then formed into a rich creamy sauce that the gnocchi gets covered in. In Italy this is normally served in place of the soup curse but it could easily be served in larger portions as the main meal itself with the simple accompaniment of a nice light garden salad with a nice vinaigrette dressing. Although general rule is red wine with beef I actually like this dish with a glass of nice Italian white wine, personal preference I say.

Gnocchi with Mushroom Beef Sauce
Summary: One of the most loved ethnic cuisines in America is Italian cuisine and in this recipe I show you a dish that is a very traditional Italian dish that is less know here than in Italy.
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
For the Authentic Gnocchi:
  • 1⅓ cups Semolina flour and some for dusting
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ⅔ cup fresh parmesan, grated
  • 2 tablespoons La Tourangelle 100% Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon The Spice Lab’s Himalayan Dark Pink Crystal Salt
For the Mushroom Beef Sauce:
  • 6 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, remove stems
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • The Spice Lab’s Himalayan Dark Pink Crystal Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons La Tourangelle 100% Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
To Make the Authentic Gnocchi:
  1. In a stock pot three quarters full salt and bring to a boil.
  2. In a large glass mixing bowl with a whisk, whisk together the olive oil, salt, eggs, parmesan and ricotta cheeses until well blended
  3. In three parts add the Semolina flour with a baking spatula until it forms a smooth dough.
  4. Form a ball with the dough and cut into quarters. Working with one at a time dust your work area with some of the flour, this will help stop it from sticking, roll the dough until it forms a long cylindrical shape of about ⅝ of an inch in diameter and slice off pieces about ¾ to 1 inch long.
  5. On a baking sheet cover with parchment paper and then dust it with flour to help prevent sticking and place the pieces on it until ready to cook.
  6. Duplicate the process above for the remaining dough until all dough is used.
  7. Place the completed gnocchi into water and allow to boil for about two minutes.
  8. Remove from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or deep fryer tool and place into the sauce and mix until all covered in sauce and let simmer for a couple minutes to drink in some of the sauce.
To Make the Mushroom Beef Sauce:
  1. Start by preparing your onion and mushrooms as per the ingredients list.
  2. Place some of the oil in a pan and sauté the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes.
  3. To this add the mushrooms and sauté until just about tender then add the ground beef and brown all over. Remove from heat and place in a colander to allow the beef grease to drain, transfer this to a large sauce pan and add the remaining ingredients resaving the half-and-half until after the dry ingredients are blended.
  4. When all the ingredients are blended well pour in and mix well the half-and-half and simmer until a smooth sauce covers everything and then add the gnocchi per above and allow to simmer a few minutes in the sauce.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to individual serving bowls.
  6. This is nice with a light garden salad.

Photo Description:

Most people when you mention Italian food first think pizza and then pasta but there are other traditional dishes in Italy that use flour made into dough and cooked and served with a sauce. I am talking about gnocchi of course this is similar to pasta but it is more lick a ravioli stuff with ricotta cheese only the ricotta is integrated into the dough itself instead of stuffed between it. This gives it a very nice texture that other pasta type dishes don’t have. Most people think it is hard to make but with this recipe I am sure you will agree it is really quite simple.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


Thanks for visiting.


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