Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Bacon, Dates and Kentucky Wine Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces fresh goat milk ricotta, or cow milk ricotta if that is all that is available
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 to 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Kosher salt
- 6 ounces slab bacon, small diced
- 8 to 10 large dates, pitted and small diced (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Combine the goat cheese, ricotta and eggs in a large bowl and mix until smooth and homogenous. Add 1/2 cup of flour and stir until combined. Being careful not to overwork the dough, add more flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough is smooth and supple (not sticky). If you add too much flour or stir too much you will have very dense little gnocchi and this is not what you want. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile put on a large pot of water to boil.
On a lightly dusted surface, press and shape the dough into an 8-by-14-by-1/2-inch rectangle. With a floured sharp knife, cut the rectangle into 1-by-1/2-inch pieces. Using a fork on a dusted surface, shape the gnocchi by pressing a piece of the dough into the back of the fork slightly to create ridges, then roll it down the fork toward the work surface to form it into a dumpling. If the dough begins to stick, flour the fork and your fingers. Place the finished gnocchi on a floured cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
When the water comes to a boil, prepare an ice bath. Season the boiling water with salt. Cooking in batches, place the gnocchi in the water with a slotted spoon and give them a quick stir to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook until all the gnocchi rise to the surface, then cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes to cook through--the timing will depend on how long they take to rise, about 4 minutes total. Immediately remove the gnocchi with the slotted spoon and put in the ice bath to stop the cooking. When they are cool, drain. They are now ready to be sauteed. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp (the fat will start to foam when this happens). Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon. Add the gnocchi to the pan and sear in the warm bacon fat, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the gnocchi to a plate. Add the dates to the pan. Whisk in the wine and vegetable stock and simmer until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Add the gnocchi, bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the parsley and toss to combine. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
Recipe Courtesy of Damaris Phillips