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Fruit-Filled Gnocchi with Nut Sauce



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  Sally Wetherby - Ranunculae and Apricots
Ranunculae and Apricots
Sally Wetherby
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Fruit-Filled Gnocchi with Nut Sauce
The Best of Food & Wine/The Italian Collection
1991, American Express Publishing Corp.

“These gnocchi can be served as a dessert, particularly if the rest of the meal does not contain either potatoes or pasta. But they are also eaten as a first course in the area around Trieste. Prunes are usually used, but you can substitute apricots if you prefer them.”

Wine recommendation:  Light white, such as Antinori Galestro

6 to 8 servings

1 pound baking potatoes
1 stick (4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
24 pitted prunes or dried apricots
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1.  In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender, 25 to 35 minutes; drain. White still hot, peel the potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer or a food mill into a large bowl. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the butter and set the potatoes aside to cool.
2.  If you are using apricots, soak them in a small bowl of boiling water until the water is cooled and the fruit is softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels. Cut the prunes or apricots in half.
3.  With a wooden spoon, beat the egg and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt into the potatoes. Gradually stir in as much of the flour as possible. When the mixture becomes too stiff to stir, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining flour.
4.  Shape the dough into a ball. Divide the ball into quarters. Shape each quarter into a cylinder about 1 inch in diameter and cut each into 12 pieces. Flatten each piece of dough slightly and press a piece of fruit into each. Sprinkle the fruit with 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and pinch the dough up and around the fruit to enclose it. Roll the dough in your palms to form an egg shape. As they are formed, put the gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.
5.  In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 1 stick butter over low heat. Add the walnuts and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook for 2 minutes. Keep warm over very low heat.
6.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the gnocchi in 2 batches, adding them a few at a time to prevent sticking. After the gnocchi rise to the surface, cook for 2 minutes longer.
7.  With a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove the gnocchi and transfer to a heated serving platter. Drizzle the nut sauce over the gnocchi; toss lightly.
- Michele Scicolone


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