This holiday weekend I had a really nice time out in Western MA hanging with my family. I knew steak was on the menu, being a big grilling holiday and all, so I wanted to cook a twist on the classic steak and potato combo we all come to expect at an event like this. My younger sister loves broccoli cheddar soup, so I decided to base the flavor profile on that. I recruited everyone to help out when it came time to roll all the gnocchi so it wouldn't take all day!
First blanch and shock the broccoli, get rid of the stem, then process it smooth.
Bake off your potatoes, and run them through a food mill or potato ricer. Mix in the broccoli and some flour.
Roll out the dough and cut off evenly sized pieces. Here is where I recruited my sisters for some help.
A quick roll on the board to make that iconic gnocchi shape.
A fork works for this part too, it's just a little harder to get the hang of.
Boil these for about 5 minutes and they are ready to go.
I made a quick cheddar sauce and tossed them right in.
I wanted to get these out of the way early, so I ended up cooking off all the gnocchi an hour before we ate and let them just sit in the warm cheese sauce. Pasta would have overcooked in this situation, but the gnocchi were perfectly tender and had soaked in just the right amount of sauce.
This went perfectly with the steak and salad. Don't worry if you have a little extra cheese sauce, we all were sopping it up with the steak.
I'm cutting this recipe in half for you guys, because we ended up with a crazy ton.
For the gnocchi:
2 lb yukon gold potatoes
1 very large head of broccoli
ABOUT 2-3 cups flour
Bake the potatoes until done. Blanch and shock the broccoli and process in the food processor, removing the larger part of the stem. Run the potatoes through a food mill or ricer. Do not mash. Mix the potatoes with the broccoli and some salt and slowly incorporate the flour. Start with 2 cups and mix well. If it isn't dry enough start adding more as needed. This part is hard to explain because it is really about the feeling of the dough and knowing when it is ready comes with practice and experience. Finally roll out the dough and cut your gnocchi, then roll them out on a gnocchi board or fork.
To make the sauce, saute a small amount of onion in 1 tablespoon of butter. When it looks like it's just about to brown, whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour. Next add 1 ¾ cups of milk and whisk well. Bring to a simmer to thicken, then turn to low and let it cool about 5 minutes. Finally whisk in 8 oz of shredded sharp cheddar.
Boil off the gnocchi in 2 separate batches, and add right to the sauce. Keep them in the sauce over very low heat until ready to serve.