Smoky Gnocchi with Vodka Sauce
The star of this recipe this Smoky Gnocchi is Chef Tom’s made from scratch Gnocchi, starring a homemade sauce. The secret to the fluffy potato pillows of goodness is a hint of hickory smoke. Then they soak in a pan of San Marzano tomatoes fresh basil vodka and heavy cream for a show-stopper kind of meal.
- 2 lb Yukon gold potatoes
2 tbsp Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp + 1 tsp Noble Saltworks Cherrywood Smoked Salt, divided
- 2 each egg yolks
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated for garnish
2 tbsp Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup sweet red pepper, minced
2 tsp Cattleman’s Grill Italiano Seasoning
- 1 tbsp garlic, grated on microplane
1 each (29 oz) can Ciao San Marzano Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Noble Saltworks Cherrywood Smoked Salt, to taste
- Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS480s Pellet Grill to 325ºF set up for indirect grilling/smoking (diffuser plate in place). Fill an A-MAZE-N Tube Smoker with wood pellets. Place on the main cooking grate and ignite the pellets using a torch. When the pellets are well lit, blow out the flame.
- Place your potatoes in a bowl and coat in about two tablespoons Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Season with about two tablespoons Noble Saltworks Hickory Smoked Salt.
- Transfer potatoes to the second shelf of the grill and cook until tender, about 90 minutes.
- Scoop the flesh from the potato skins. Push the flesh of the potatoes through a ricer and into a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Begin sprinkling flour over the potatoes and mixing. Add two tablespoons melted butter, two yolks and one teaspoon smoked salt. Continue adding flour and mixing until nearly all flour is incorporated and a dough ball is formed. Save some flour for your work surface. Divide the dough ball into four equal pieces, then roll each piece out into a long cylinder shape about 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut into 1 1/2 inch long dumplings. Lay them out on a sheet pan.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches, so as not to overcrowd. When the gnocchi floats to the top after 2-3 minutes it is done. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon. Transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. After a few minutes the gnocchi can be removed from the ice bath and transferred to a towel to dry.
- Remove the diffuser door (or entire diffuser) and place a Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet over the flame to preheat for a few minutes. Increase the grill temperature setting to 400ºF.
To make the vodka sauce, add the Saica Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the skillet. Add the shallot and pepper and Cattleman’s Grill Italiano. Cook until shallots begin to brown at the edges. Add the garlic. Cook about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and basil smash the tomatoes into small pieces with a hand masher. Let the sauce simmer and thicken for a few minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the vodka. Return to heat to cook off the alcohol. Add the heavy cream and stir. Taste and season with smoked salt, as needed. Cover the skillet with a lid and set aside to keep warm.
- Add about two tablespoons of butter to a Lodge 12” Steel Skillet over medium heat. Let the butter begin to brown, then add about half of your gnocchi to the skillet. Cook until gold brown on both sides. Transfer the toasted gnocchi to the skillet of vodka sauce and repeat until all gnocchi is fried.
- Mix the smoky gnocchi and vodka sauce and serve topped with parmesan and basil.
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Recipe Highlights and Insights:
To potato poke or not to potato poke?
Do you ever see the chef in your kitchen take a fork or knife and poke holes into a potato before cooking it? Have you heard if you don’t do this could it explode? While it would be interesting to watch but not fun to clean up it is logically possible for a potato to explode. The holes that are created help to release the steam that is generated while it cooks. Potatoes are full of water and when they cook it turns into steam or water vapor. If there is no place for the steam to escape it can build up and create an unwarranted version of mashed potatoes. While this rarely happens, this is definitely a circumstance of better to be safe than sorry.
How deep should you prick holes and how many in a potato before cooking?
It is suggested that you poke about 4-8 holes that are approximately 1/8 inch deep.
What is an ice bath for cooking?
Another term for this is blanching or parboiling. This is when you want to stop the cooking process and prevent your food from being overcooked. An ice bath is used to quickly stop the cooking process. This stops the cooking process rapidly because water absorbs in a large amount of energy in the form of heat.
- Serving Size
- 5 oz
- per serving
- 25.3 grams
- Saturated Fat
- 10.5 grams
- 110 milligrams
- 1567 milligrams
- 41 grams
- 3.4 grams
- 4.5 grams
- 8.2 grams