Pink girlie gnocchi – Red beet gnocchi with artichokes, goat cheese and chives
I gnocchi rosa da donna – Gnocchi rosa con rape rosse, carciofi, caprino ed erba cipollina
I love to play with pasta colors, and I love colorful food, so today everything is pink. Don’t you like pink? I love to wear pink and eat it too! pink, pink, pink and more pink! such a calming and happy color.
Here is a dish that really makes me see la vie en rose, because no matter how careful I was, everything I touched in the kitchen turned pink, the flour paper bag, the oven buttons, and kitchen cabinets. After my pink tagliatelle with red beets, I wanted to make pink gnocchi just for the gorgeous color. It has been such a long time I haven’t made gnocchi, not that I don’t like them, but I think they tend to be too fulfilling for me.
Beets are often used in salads, and I think they can be used in so many ways, like to color pasta and doughs, since beets are often used as a food coloring.
My mom’s gnocchi are very traditional made with a tomato base with rabbit and mushroom sauce, like they make in Romagna, so last time I was home and made her those crazy pink gnocchi, she got so excited and curious, non avrei mai pensato fare gli gnocchi colle barabietole! The great thing about my parents is that they taste everything I make even the most unconventional and nontraditional dishes (which is very rare for Italians in their 60s), and they are willing to try new things. Last time I went home, I brought some meat substitute made with soy, and that was the only thing they didn’t like, they tasted a bite and stopped there…but that is understandable, it looks like dog food!
The tricky part (yes there is one…maybe two) is the mashing of the beets, they need to be reduced in purée, so I mixed the potatoes and beets all together, then used a potato masher to crush them well and not leave any chunks of beets. Then when everthing was almost perfectly fine, I used a hand mixer to reduce everything into a smooth purée.
The other tricky part in these gnocchi making process is the flour quantity, I have added gradually flour to my mixture, so I won’t be able to give an exact amount, you will have to determine for yourself when to stop adding flour. Basically, the dough remains sticky, while rolling the strips, it’s ok add flour, but do not add too much flour to the dough mixture, or the gnocchi will be too hard.
Ingredients for 3-4
For the gnocchi dough
- 350 g potatoes (or 3 medium), cooked
- 200 g red beets, cooked
- 1 egg
- flour (1 cup or more)
For the sauce
- 5 medium sized artichokes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 4 tbs goat cheese
- 2 tbs chives
- 2 tbs olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- salt and pepper
In a mixing container, mash potatoes and red beets with a potato masher like mentioned above. You will get a smooth purée. Add one egg and flour. Mix well to combine all ingredients together and obtain a homogeneous dough. The dough needs to be slightly sticky but not too much, then while rolling the strips, you will add extra flour to prevent them from sticking to your working surface. Roll strips, and cut in small 1 inch nuggets. Then using the fork tines or a rigagnocchi (that tool used to curl the gnocchi), “curl” each of them.
Trim your artichokes, by removing the hard leaves around, and the trimming the top leaves. Cut in quarters and place in a large bowl of water with lemon juice (to prevent them from staining).
In a pan, heat olive oil, add garlic, then add artichokes, mix well, then add wine, salt and pepper. Cover and cook at medium heat until artichokes are tender.
In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil, then add gnocchi. When the gnocchi come out on the surface, they’re cooked. Drain them and add to the artichokes pan. Place in a large pasta dish, mix well. Add goat cheese, chives and extra olive oil. Mix carefully not to break the goat cheese. You can substitute parmesan or pecorino to fresh goat cheese.
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