Easy homemade beet gnocchi with a subtle walnut-sage butter. Add extra freshly ground pepper and sprinkle some grated Parmigiano-Reggiono on top and you’ve got perfection.
We are one week away from Valentine’s Day and I created this recipe especially for the occasion. I usually create sweet treats more than savory ones to celebrate love. This year, I gathered them all in one place for an easy access, and I invite you to discover my Valentine’s Day recipes already now. From the pink pancakes to the rosewater pavlova and also the famous molten chocolate lava cake, I hope you’ll find some inspiration to make your other half fall in love again.
This year, I wanted something different, something savory for once, that amazes both your eyes and your taste buds. You got it, I went for beet gnocchi! Have you made gnocchi before? Pasta usually scares us. It seems advanced, require quite some time ahead, a few kitchen accessories you might not have at home, and you simply don’t see the point. And I’m with you here. Making pasta is of course very rewarding when you see the final result but in terms of logistic, it’s clearly very demanding. Good news: gnocchi is your easy way to pasta!
I know what you’re thinking here: “She’s a food blogger, of course she finds it easy”. Well, even though I like to challenge my skills in the kitchen, I thought making gnocchi was difficult and would take a long time. I was wrong. If you except the cooking time for the ingredients separately (cooking the beet in the oven, boiling the potato), it’s rather quick as all you need to do is mixing all the ingredients together, i.e. mash beet and potato, flour, egg, and salt (do not forget the salt!). You will need to use your ends at some point to make sure all the ingredients stick together to form a ball.
Unlike other pasta recipes, you do not need to roll out the dough, which makes gnocchi effortless (seriously, rolling out a pasta dough by hand if you do not owe a pasta roller machine is serious working out). No here, you just need to divide the dough in 8 to 10 equal parts, then roll each part into a thick rope. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch (1 cm) piece that will be your gnocchi. The final touch: using the back of a fork to draw the characteristic pattern. That’s it!
Here I really enjoy the vibrant red color of the gnocchi brought by the beet, that makes them look fancy and just perfect for Valentine’s Day! To serve your gnocchi, you have a couple of options: you could go for my basil almond pesto for instance, opt for a goat cheese cream, simply sprinkle some Parmiggiano-Reggiano on top with a few extra basil leaves and toasted pine nuts, or go for this subtle walnut sage brown butter.
I found inspiration on Food & Wine for the sauce, even though my gnocchi have nothing to do with theirs. I liked it as it is really simple, yet absolutely delicious. Making a brown butter is the easiest thing that can be: you just need to melt butter until the fat particles detach from butter. Within a few minutes, your butter will turn golden-brown and will take a subtle taste of nuts. Infuse then the fresh sage leaves. According to the brown butter recipe, you would usually need to strain butter through a sieve. I do not find it absolutely necessary for this recipe so I just skipped this part to make it easy for us.
Once your brown butter is ready, you simply throw in the already cooked beet gnocchi (in boiling water, as you would do for any other pasta) and toss for a few seconds. My advice is to plate your gnocchi straight away: serve about two tablespoons of gnocchi in each plate, drizzle the toasted walnuts over, and arose with brown butter. Add freshly ground pepper, sprinkle some freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano, and decorate with additional sage sauce. It’s ready!
- 1 medium red (or two small) beetroot
- 17.5 oz (500g) potatoes
- 1 large egg
- 1¼ cup (150g) all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- ½ cup (65g) walnuts, chopped
- 1 stick (110g) unsalted butter, cubed
- 4-5 sage leaves
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoon Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Wrap a red beetroot in foil and place onto a baking tray. Cook for about 45 minutes or until fork tender. Once cooled, peel the beet, cut into pieces and puree in a food processor. Set aside.
- Boil the potatoes with the peel in a large volume of water. Peel and mash while still hot. Add the beet puree to the potatoes, the egg, flour and salt. Knead quickly by hand until all the ingredients stick together and form a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and cut into about 8-10 equal parts. Roll each part into a ½-inch (1 cm) thick rope, then cut the ropes into ½-inch (1 cm) pieces. Lightly press with the back of a fork to gives the characteristic pattern.
- Cook the gnocchi in a large saucepan of simmering salted water until they rise to the surface. Simmer for one minute longer until cooked through, and carefully remove from the pan, using a slotted spoon.
- For the walnut-sage butter: in a very large skillet, toast the chopped walnuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
- Add the butter to the skillet and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sage leaves and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the lemon juice.
- Add the gnocchi to the butter sauce and cook for 1 minute, tossing gently. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the gnocchi to the plates, sprinkle walnuts on top and serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.