GNOCCHI WITH CLAM SAUCE
2 ½ pounds (about 4) russet baking potatoes
1 teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 ¼ – 1 ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ pound bacon
1 stick butter
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
12 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 ¼ pounds fresh chopped clams
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
½ cup milk
2 tablespoon cornstarch
⅓ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
Parmesan for sprinkling and garnish
To make the gnocchi:
Pierce the potatoes several times so that the moisture can escape during baking. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour until fork tender. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, while they are still hot, and press them through a potato ricer. (Save the skins and top with cheese and bacon for a yummy app – don’t forget the sour cream and chives after baking!!)
Put riced potatoes in a large bowl with salt, baking powder, and egg. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix gently with a fork, folding, until the mixture begins to come together. Dust your hands with flour and turn the dough onto a floured counter. Sprinkle another ¼ cup of dough over the top and gently knead, slowly adding the remaining ¼ cup as needed until the dough forms a ball. Do not over work the dough.
Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a log and roll back and forth into a rope, about 14-15″ long. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces.
Gently roll each 1″ piece, pressing down lightly, with a fork creating indentations that will hold the sauce. Have fun with this, they don’t have to be perfect but once you get the hang of it they will start looking more uniform.
Spread the gnocchi out on a cookie sheet, dusted with flour and separated. If you are cooking later put the tray in the freezer and then when frozen place frozen gnocchi in a plastic bag to store.
Cook in rapidly boiling salted water for about 2 or 3 minutes. They will float to the top when done. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain and place on a serving platter.
While the potatoes cook in the oven, prepare your clam sauce.
Cook the bacon in a large deep skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving the fat in the pan, chop and set aside.
Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. When butter is melted, sauté onions and garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the white wine to the pan and bring to a low boil. Cook for 5 minutes, until reduced by half. Add the clams, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder and cook for another 5-7 minutes letting the clams cook and liquid continues to reduce.
Combine the milk and corn starch in a small bowl and stir until the corn starch is dissolved. Add to the pan along with the chopped parsley and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened and has a velvety consistency.
Top gnocchi with clam sauce and lightly toss to coat. Garnish with parsley and top with parmesan cheese.