Category Archives: Italian

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream, Walnuts and Arugula

Another simple and amazing Italian pasta recipe I tried by Chef Pietro at Valoroso Foods this week.  I cannot stress enough how much I HATE blue cheese, but this dish had me going “Wow!” This cremy Bechamel based dish has a wonderful tang. I’ve modified the recipe to reduce the amount of blue cheese in the original recipe to 1/4 of the original ,as the full amount was just too strong for us.  The picture below also features meatloaf, but I haven’t written up a recipe for that yet, as mine tends to change depending on my moods…. oh…. I guess it always changes then! LOL

Gnocchi
 Gnocchi with Meatloaf

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream, Walnuts and Arugula

Ingredients

1 – 500g pack Gnocchi (any flavour)
40g Gorgonzola (bue) cheese, crumbled into pieces
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup Bechamel sauce
100g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
50g chopped walnuts, toasted
1 handful arugula leaves

Directions:

For the Gorgonzola cream:

  1. Once you’ve made the Bechamel sauce (recipe below), leave the burner on medium-low and add the Gorgonzola.
  2. Once the cheese has melted, simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with pepper and nutmeg.

Gnocchi:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water with 1 teaspoon salt to boil. 
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the gnocchi 2-3 minutes. They will rise to the surface when cooked.
  3. Remove gnocchi from the water, drain well and place in large heat proof bowl.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Pour the Gorgonzola sauce over the gnocchi and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  4. Place the bowl on a baking sheet and broil the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and turning golden.
  5. Serve immediately topped with fresh black pepper, toasted walnuts and arugula leaves.

Bechamel (Basic White Sauce)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Cups Milk

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
  2. Add flour and stir until the butter and flour are well combined.
  3. Pour in milk, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add more milk depending on desired consistency.

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms, Eggplant & Sundried Tomato

While visiting our daughter Brianna at Valoroso Foods a few weeks ago, we were given a sample of this freshly cooked dish by Italian Chef Pietro. I’m very thankful he had the recipe printed out for clients to take. It is delicious and easy to prepare.

I have added a few notes  as he relayed them, and what I did different.

Porcini mushrooms are very “earthy”, and some consider them too strong. We really love the flavour and feel that they “make the dish”.

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms & Eggplant

Italian name: Paccheri Al Profumi Di Terra (Rough translation: Paccheri Pasta and Perfume of the Earth.

This recipe calls for Paccheri pasta, but any will do. I used leftover linguine noodles.

Ingredients:

500g pasta
2 large eggplants
50g sundried tomato
100g fresh mushrooms
30g dried Porcini mushrooms (Soak them 20 min before –  I used fresh and did not soak them) 10g flour Salt & Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic and Parsley
100g smoked Provolone (I used smoked Havarti)
100 ml warm milk

Instructions:

1. Dice the eggplant and put it into a pan with oil, garlic and parsley – light fry.
2. Add the sliced sundried tomato (I minced them) and both types of mushrooms. Let it cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
3. Add the flour and lastly the milk. Cook over low heat, sirring occasionaly until flour is cooked and milk has thickened into a nice sauce.
4. Add the cooked pasta and the smoked cheese, either grated or shredded, and stir in to melt. 5. Serve with a salad or vegi tray.