08.22.11_Gnocchi with Thyme Butter Sauce

Gnocchi is one of those things I've always wanted to try and make from scratch but have been to afraid to after watching years of Food Network and seeing how easily it can go from light fluffy pillows to dense pasty muck. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and since Phillip had only had it once before he probably wouldn't know the difference. I figured Giada would be the go to person on gnocchi and found her recipe for gnocchi with thyme butter sauce. I read through the recipe and was confused when I read, "Roll each piece of dough over a wooden paddle with ridges." I decided to Google "wooden paddle with ridges" and a gnocchi paddle came up. Of course there is such thing as a paddle specifically for scoring gnocchi. What was I thinking? The best part was if you clicked on Amazon's link for wooden paddle with ridges, Giada's cookbook comes up as another search result. Convenient.

Anyhow, I had also never made brown butter before and was nervous to try this because it can quickly go from brown to burnt. Luckily my obsessive checking on the butter paid off and I did not burn it. I was in for a surprise, however, when I added the thyme to the butter. I removed the melted butter from the heat like the recipe says to, added the thyme, and then what sounded like firecrackers erupted in my kitchen. I'm not sure if it was the water inside the thyme or what but it scared the crap out of me. I looked this up later to see if this was common and couldn't find anything so who knows. If you do decide to make this recipe, just be prepared for loud crackling when you add the thyme just in case!
The dough.
The dough after being scored.
Gnocchi prior to being cooked.
The finished product!
The dough was was easy to make and fun to play with. I couldn't believe how exact the recipe was (3 tablespoons of beaten egg, discard the rest). After rolling it out into the long, thin tubes, I scored the dough with a fork (since I didn't own a Gnocchi Paddle...shoot) and cut the dough into inch-long pieces. Cooking the pasta was easy enough as well, just drop into the water, wait for them to rise to the surface and then wait another four minutes. I put the gnocchi directly into the thyme butter sauce and this is where I had a bit of a problem. I wanted to toss the gnocchi in the sauce to make sure all sides had been coated with the sauce. They began to fall apart a little when tossing which frustrated me because they had looked so good before hand. Some reviews online seem to have had a similar problem and one reviewer claims that the recipe did not call for enough flour.

Besides the tossing of the gnocchi that did not go so well, I was very impressed with how easy the recipe was. The gnocchi tasted great and I enjoyed having a different sauce for them. One other side note is that this did not make very much. I'm not sure who Giada is feeding but there is no way that this is 4-6 servings. Phillip and I finished the entire pot of gnocchi in one seating on top of the salad and garlic bread I served it with, and I don't eat that much! So you may want to double this if you want leftovers or are making this for more than two people. Maybe that's why Giada is so tiny because she only eats six pieces of gnocchi for dinner.

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