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Porcini Gnocchi With Butter Sauce

Gnocchi and porcini mushrooms in a brown butter sage sauce
Photograph by Paola + Murray, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Marina Bevilacqua 

This gnocchi is inspired by a porcini mushroom pasta that chef Stefano Secchi ate at Il Centro, a restaurant in Piedmont, Italy, where the misty forests are perfect for foraging. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to freshly foraged porcinis, though: This recipe relies on easier-to-find dried mushrooms, which are ground into powder and mixed into the dough. For the best and lightest gnocchi, Secchi suggests using slightly older potatoes: “They have less moisture content, so you can add less flour and keep your gnocchi from getting gummy.” Roasting the potatoes on a wire rack allows steam to escape from every side. To form the gnocchi, look no further than your flatware drawer. “You can use a gnocchi board,” Secchi says, “but my nonna always used a fork.”

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What you’ll need

Ingredients

4 servings

6

medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 lb.)

½

oz. dried porcini mushrooms (about ⅓ cup)

1⅔

cups (208 g) Italian 00 flour or all-purpose flour

¼

tsp. kosher salt, plus more

1

large egg, beaten to blend

½

cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

12

sage leaves

Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)

Preparation

Step 1

Place rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Poke holes all over potatoes with a fork and place on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast potatoes until flesh is easily pierced with a fork, 45–60 minutes. Let sit until just cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.

Step 2

Peel potatoes and pass through a potato ricer (or use the bottom of a glass to push through a fine-mesh sieve). Place in a large bowl and let cool completely.

Step 3

Meanwhile, pulse dried mushrooms in a spice mill or a high-speed blender to a fine powder. Transfer to a medium bowl and add flour and ¼ tsp. salt; whisk to combine.

Step 4

Add dry ingredients and egg to bowl with potatoes and fold together. Then, using your hands, form into a single mass. Turn out onto a work surface and knead until smooth.

Step 5

Cut dough into 6 portions. Working with 1 portion at a time and covering remaining portions with plastic wrap while you work, roll each portion into a rope about ½" wide. Cut into ½"-long pieces and roll each piece along fork to form ridges. Arrange gnocchi in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet (line with parchment paper if making ahead).

Step 6

Cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes (4 minutes if cooking from frozen). Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid.

Step 7

While the gnocchi is cooking, heat butter in a medium high-sided skillet over medium, stirring often, until it foams, then browns, 5–8 minutes. Add sage leaves and ¼ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid, tilting the pan away from you to protect yourself from spattering. Once spattering has settled down, swirl liquid in pan, then add gnocchi and cook, tossing and adding remaining pasta cooking liquid a little at a time (you might not need all of it) until sauce is combined and creamy and pasta is well coated, about 1 minute.

Step 8

Divide pasta among shallow bowls and top with Parmesan.

Do ahead: Gnocchi can be formed 3 days ahead. Tightly wrap baking sheet and freeze.