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Gnocchi di Susine

My monthly ñoquis del 29 post is either very late or extremely early.  Meant to bring luck when eaten at the end of the month, I was unlucky the first time I tried to make these gnocchi di susine or plum gnocchis.  A Triestian recipe similar to pierogis, they reflect the region’s blend of Mediterranean, Austrian, Hungarian, and Slavic cuisine.  I thought it would be a great way to use the late summer plums that are filling the markets and fulfill my August gnocchi post – two birds, lots of stone fruit.

I was thrilled when I found tiny Italian prune-plums that were perfectly ripe and just the right size.  Following the recipe closely, I blanched them as directed – a mistake.  They were supposed to split open just enough to remove the pits, be stuffed with sugar cubes, and folded into the gnocchi dough.  When I checked on the plums a few minutes later they’d been blanched to a pulp – there was no putting them back together again.  Disappointed but undeterred, I had some larger dark plums that were less than perfect, but cut down to size, might work.  I found an alternative recipe from Mario Batali, ran out for more potatoes, and started from scratch.  No blanching required, they were creamy, sweet and I loved the ways the plums and sugar melted together.  Some times a little luck is a lot of work.

Gnocchi di Susine/Plum Gnocchi
Adapted from this recipe by Mario Batali, they can also be made with prunes during if fresh plums aren’t available.  Perfect for dessert, I think they’d make an interesting appetizer or side dish.

2 1/4 pound russet potatoes
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

4 red or purple plums, pitted and quartered or 16 small Italian prune plums
8 sugar cubes, halved or 3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
Cinnamon and sugar to taste

Place whole potatoes in a heavy pot with lightly salted water to cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a low boil and cook until just tender, about 45 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel and force through ricer or food mill onto a sheet pan, spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely.

On a lightly floured board, gather potatoes into a mound in sheet pan, using a pastry scraper if you have one, and form a well in center.  Pour beaten eggs and salt into the well, then blend into the potatoes. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the flour over the potatoes and gently mix in.  Add remaining flour as needed until a dough just forms.  Dust top lightly with some flour and refrigerate until ready to use.

Bring water to a boil with 1-2 tablespoons of salt.  Pinch off a walnut-sized piece of dough and flatten into a 2 1/2 inch circle.  Place a quarter plum piece stuffed with a half a sugar cube in the center of each round of dough (see note).  Close the dough around the filling  to form a smooth package with no tears.  Repeat with remaining dough and plums.

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the bread crumbs and toast until golden brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Add gnocchis, 8 or so at a time  (so that they don’t touch) to the boiling water, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Wait for them to rise to the top and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.  Add to the bread crumb mixture and gently toss to coat.

Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with remaining bread crumbs, cinnamon and sugar to taste.  Serve warm as an appetizer or dessert.

Makes 16 large gnocchis.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Catalina llano #

    Delizioso! U going to Eataly??? Can’t wait what recipes you bring home after ur Italy trip!! Or France… Either is fantastic!
    Keep em comin!
    xo

    3 September 2010
    • hungrysofia #

      I think I have to now. It sounds like they did a beautiful job.

      3 September 2010
  2. Kat #

    I’m not normally a gnocchi fan but this is making my mouth water!

    3 September 2010
  3. amyjoyc #

    Oh god those look so good!

    4 September 2010
  4. Interesting treat you present to us here. Looks very delicious :)

    6 September 2010

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