Parmigiano Reggiano – Information
Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano is one of Italy’s most famous cheeses, with the production process remaining unchanged for centuries. Parmigiano Reggiano is officially classed as a Protected Designated of Origin (PDO) product by the European Union; therefore it can only be legally produced in the regions of Parma, Reggio Emilia and parts of Mantua and Bologna.
Parmigiano Reggiano is a hard, aged cheese, and regulations state it must be matured for a minimum of twelve months. The cheese is at its best if left to mature for a full twenty-four months, although the most distinctive, nutty flavours can only be achieved after thirty months maturation. It is this dedication to traditional processes and using only the highest quality ingredients, that ensures the most superior crumbly, hard Parmigiano Reggiano is produced.
Potato gnocchi – Gnocchi di patate
Potato gnocchi – Comfort, filling, and the perfect base for many seasonal sauces. These elongated gnocchi are a little opulent and offer some warmth and comfort especially through the cooler months yet equally when dressed with a light sauce they pair perfectly to make an early evening garden supper a little special. They are simple to make as well as inexpensive and speedy to produce.
It can be difficult to provide you with a failproof potato gnocchi recipe that effectively works every time, this can be due to many factors. The type of potatoes used, moisture and how much water has been absorbed by the potatoes. That said, here is my recipe, I have opted to boil the potatoes here with their skins on, however you can also bake or even steam them in their entirety if preferred.
Preparation time: 35 minutes to include resting time
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Parmigiano Reggiano cream
80g butter plus an additional teaspoon for the sage dressing
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large banana shallot, peeled, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled, finely sliced
600ml double cream
250g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
Salt & pepper, to season
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 slices speck, sliced thinly
8 fresh sage leaves
• Place your riced potatoes into a large bowl, add the egg, and season with salt and pepper. Combine fully with a wooden spoon.
• Gradually add the flour until you have a pliable potato dough. You may not need all the flour, then again you may need a little more.
• Knead the potato dough for 2 minutes. Be careful when incorporating the dough because over working may lead to a heavy glutenous dough.
• Portion the dough into 6 pieces.
• Roll each portion into a long sausage and cut off 1.5cm nuggets.
• Flour your hands and roll each gnocchi in-between your palms. I like to form them a little thinner as they do in the Northern regions of Italy. If you prefer you can simply roll a piece of potato dough down the prongs of a fork or using a wooden gnocchi board.
• Place each rolled gnocchi onto a clean tea-towel or tray dusted with a little semola flour.
• Into a medium heavy based saucepan add the butter and extra virgin olive oil.
• Over a medium heat tumble in the chopped shallot and fry gently for 2 minutes to soften.
• Add the sliced garlic and fry for 1 minute before pouring in the double cream. Reduce the heat so that you do not scorch the cream.
• Season with salt and pepper to your specific taste and add a little freshly grated nutmeg.
• Sprinkle in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano and stir.
• Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
• Into a dry frying pan, add the sliced speck and fry until crispy. This will take 4-5 minutes or so.
• When you have one-minute left to cook the speck, add the sage leaves and an additional teaspoon of butter. Stir to melt the butter and coat the sage leaves.
• Boil the gnocchi in a large pan of salted boiling water. When the gnocchi bob to the top of the water, give the gnocchi a further 2 minutes.
• Using a slotted spoon or spider, place the gnocchi into the Parmigiano Reggiano cream sauce. Stir carefully to coat the gnocchi.
• Spoon the gnocchi onto warmed plates and scatter over a little pan-fried speck, crispy sage, and a generous scattering of Parmigiano Reggiano.
How to freeze gnocchi – Place the gnocchi onto a tray (single layer only) covered with a layer of greaseproof paper and pop into the freezer. After 2 hours the gnocchi will be perfectly frozen. Place them into a container and freeze for up to 6 months. Cook straight from the freezer.