Steal This Recipe® Porcini Mushroom Gnocchi

April 17, 2014

From Chef Raffaele Miele of Gnocco, NYC

Stolen ‘con permesso’ from Chef Raffaele Miele, of Gnocco restaurant, (located in what is described as the ‘far East Village’) the recipe for this homemade version of a restaurant favorite is deceptively simple. Homemade potato gnocchetti (tiny gnocchi) are topped with a rich and nutty porcini mushroom sauce, flavored with fresh garlic, parsley and a touch of cream. A hearty and delicious dish!

Gnocco began the in summer of 2000, when owners Gian Luca Giovanetti and Pier Luigi Palazzo decided to make new roots in New York City, utilizing their combined expertise in the Italian restaurant industry to shake up the East Village. The result exceeded all their expectations; Gnocco became an overnight success and their friendly, family-forward, high quality style is still successful over a decade later.

Named for the fried dough puffs sold with prosciutto and salami on the streets of their home town, Modena, ‘Gnocco’ strives to embody a sense of Italian authenticity and even imported a genuine Italian ‘nonna’ (Gian Luca’s grandmother) to teach the staff the artistry of making their namesake dish.

According to nonna’s strict rules, all pastas are made in-house daily. The Crudaiola is a signature pasta dish where the only thing cooked is the pasta itself, with cherry tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan cheese which are brought to a just-tender state. The generous portions and value-driven menu make Gnocca the place to eat if you are in the vicinity of Manhattan’s East Village.

On the way to your table you’ll pass master pizzaiolo Federico Crociani; take a minute to watch him toss the tiniest balls of pizza dough into thin, wide round; a show in itself that’ll awaken your appetite before you even sit down. Federico’s pizzas are Roman style with a thin crust and are especially light and easy to digest. The popular Tartufata is topped with a savory, salty, creamy truffle sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms and speck ham.

From Chef Raffaele come artistic creations like Carpaccio di Polpo - cooked in a bain marie overnight to take advantage of the octopus’s naturally gelatinous properties; each slice is as thin as paper, topped with a celery and fennel salad, and Carciofi Fritti (fried artichokes) are a rustic nod to Rome, with their tempura-like crust, shaved spicy pecorino topping, and pink peppercorn sauce.

About the chef: Raffaele Miele began his culinary career at the New York Restaurant School in the late nineties. After working at the Paramount Hotel, a butcher shop, and Osteria del Circo he began working at Gnocco in 2001. After a few years he left to work at Cipriani, and then Rainbow Room, until it closed - at which point fate intervened and one night while he was dining at Gnocco, the chef asked him to join the staff again. Now as Executive Chef, Miele executes Gnocco’s authentic, high quality Italian fare with flair.

337 East 10th Street (between Avenues A and B)
NY, NY 10009
212 677 1913

Gnochetti ai Funghi Porcini is served at Gnocco for $17.50.
This recipe makes 4 restaurant servings.

Ingredients for the Gnocchi:
2 lbs of potatoes, peeled 
1 and 1/3 cup of all purpose flour 
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the Porcini Mushroom Sauce: 
1/2 cup dry porcini mushrooms 
1 cup chopped porcini mushrooms (shiitake can also work) 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
4 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tbsp olive oil 
Salt to taste 
Parsley and grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Gnocchi:
Boil the potatoes until soft (do not overcook). 
Mash them finely then add the flour and the pinch of salt, creating the gnocchi dough. 
Take the dough and roll it to a 2/3 inch diameter (you can use multiple chunks to avoid breakage). 
Cut into 2 inch pieces with a sharp knife. 
Place the gnocchi in boiling water and cook until they float.

Steal This Recipe® Step by Step Instructions for the Porcini Mushroom Sauce:
Soak the dry porcini mushrooms in hot water until soft, drain them and keep the water. 
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil then add all the mushrooms. 
When the cooking liquid from the mushrooms is well reduced, add the water from the dry porcini mushrooms (filter it through a sieve) and reduce, then add a touch of heavy cream. 
Top the gnocchi with the sauce. 
Add Parmesan cheese, garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!

Image may vary from recipe.