The first time I tried gnocchi was in high school at a famous Italian restaurant known for throwing an abundant amount of garlic in every dish. I was unsure of what gnocchi was but decided to order it and be a little adventurous. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I remember that I was not pleased with the dish.
The first time I made gnocchi was in culinary school with a group of 3 other individuals. We mashed the potatoes, turned it into a dough and meticulously rolled each gnocchi down the back of a fork to create the lines. Even after preparing it myself, I still was not completely wowed by this specific form of pasta. Years later, I decided to give gnocchi another choice. This time I prepared a goat cheese gnocchi with short rib braised sauce. Can I say, WOW! Now, this is the dish that I’ve been waiting for all these years! The gnocchi was exactly what I’ve been wanting, a fluffy, pillowy pasta coated in a savory sauce with incredibly tender meat. If you’ve been hesitant about gnocchi as I was, try this dish and it will change your mind in a heartbeat.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Sugo is an Italian meat sauce made from either pork or beef; this recipe uses one of my favorite cuts of meat, short ribs.
After I braised the beef, I found that there was almost no braising liquid left. To make a sauce, I decided to use the vegetables and what braising liquid remained. Remove the meat and blend the vegetables to create a sauce. Reheat the sauce until simmering and add the meat back in.
Gnocchi is a type of pasta made from a type of flour, egg, and potato. Many variations, nowadays, replace the potato with other ingredients such as sweet potato, spinach ricotta and, in this case, goat cheese. When making the dough, add a little bit of flour at a time to avoid adding an excess. The dough should come together and will be soft but still pliable.
Roll out the dough and using a sharp knife, cut into small pieces.
If you have the patience, roll each gnocchi down the back of a fork or a gnocchi paddle if you have one. I rolled half of them down the back of a fork until I decided to just skip it. The gnocchi will be covered in sauce anyways, no one will see!
As with all fresh pasta, the gnocchi will cook rather quickly. They will float to the top when they are ready.
Top the goat cheese gnocchi with the Sugo, freshly grated parmesan and you have a lovely meal! I made this special meal for my birthday and loved every bite of it. The gnocchi is incredibly light, balancing the heavier, flavor-bursting sauce. Hands down, the best gnocchi I’ve had to date!
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