Potato Gnocchi with Summer Morels

Credit: Didier Loire


Step 1: Gnocchi

Wash the potatoes, and cook them, unpeeled, in salted water. Be careful not to overcook. Peel while still warm, and mash through a sieve. Add the egg, the flour, some salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Do not stir too much or risk splitting the mixture.

While still warm, split the dough in two portions, and shape into 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) snakes. Cut in 1 inch (2.5 cm) long pieces. Prepare 60 gnocchi in this way, and roll each, mashing it lightly with a fork, then set aside on a tray, and cover with parchment paper.

Plunge the gnocchi in a saucepan of simmering water seasoned with salt. Remove as soon as the gnocchi rise to the surface, and cool in a bowl of ice water. Pat dry with a cloth, and lay on a dish, rolling each piece lightly in olive oil.

Step 2: Sauce

Remove the gritty part of the morel stems, and trim each with a knife to obtain an even shape. Plunge in a bowl of cold water. Wash delicately, and plunge in another bowl of cold water. Continue to rinse the morels in this manner, without soaking them, until no sand or grit remains.

Drain the morels with a slotted spoon, place on a stainless steel rack, cover with a cloth, and keep in a cool place.

Remove the leaves of the lettuce, and trim and shape the largest leaves, working around the stalks. Plunge in cold water, drain, and spin dry.

Cut the slices of Jabugo ham into 2-inch (5 cm) triangles.

Peel, wash, and mince the shallots.

Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add the unpeeled garlic cloves and minced shallots, cover, and sweat without browning.

Add the drained morels and season with fleur de sel. Cover and stew gently. Maintain a low simmer for 15 minutes, then uncover, and reduce the cooking juices by half. Add the veal jus and gently infuse.

Step 3: Plating

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan, and sauté the gnocchi, browning lightly and evenly on the side of the fork mark.

Heat up some olive oil in a sauté pan, and sauté the ham triangles to dry them out. Set aside. Add the lettuce to the same pan, and slightly wilt the lettuce. Set aside on a stainless steel rack.

Remove the garlic cloves from the morel cooking juices, add the slightly whipped cream and some freshly ground pepper.

Plate the gnocchi, lettuce, ham triangles, and morel ragout on the plates. Drizzle with the morel cooking juices and extra-virgin olive oil, and serve immediately.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits