Gnocchi with Basil & Thyme Cream Sauce

I’m back! Life happened and I found myself with no time to come up with new recipes, I’m sorry I made you wait so long, but I’m back and ready to start creating again!

Gnocchi is the ultimate comfort food – potato dumplings? Does it get any better than that? No. I love how simple they are to make and how easy it is to pair them with your favorite sauce, or just eat them buttered. Homemade gnocchi are always best, but if you’re pinched for time, or don’t want to venture into making your own, store bought work just fine.

The sauce I created for this is creamy, sweet, and herby all at the same time. Despite the cream, its very light and is the perfect contrast to the super filling gnocchi. Give it a try – I’m sure you’ll love it! As always, be sure to share and tag me if you try out any of my recipes, I love seeing them!

What You’ll Need

For the gnocchi, you’ll need russet potatoes, egg, flour, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

For the sauce, you’ll need butter, shallots, fresh basil & thyme, red pepper flakes, sugar, balsamic vinegar, broth, heavy cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Getting Started

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel and dice potatoes and cook in the boiling water until soft, about 20-30 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, finely chop the basil (cutting some into long thin strips, or chiffonade, for garnish), strip the thyme leaves from the stems, finely dice the shallots, and separate the eggs and beat the yolks.

Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain, then use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes until smooth. Once mostly cooled, mix in the egg, olive oil and salt and pepper, then mix in the flour.

While you’re waiting for the potatoes to cool, start the sauce and bring another large pot of salted water to boil. Add the butter to a pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is frothing, add the shallots and cook until beginning to carmelize.

Once the shallots have begun to caramelize, add the basil and thyme, reserving some for garnish if desired. Cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds, then add the red pepper flakes. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar, then the broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

While the sauce is simmering, make the gnocchi. Working in batches, roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface into 1/4″ thick “ropes”, then using a bench scraper or knife, cut into 1/4″ dumplings.

Once you have finished cutting the gnocchi, roll them along the tongs of a fork to create the gnocchi pattern.

To the sauce mixture, still over medium-low heat, add the cream and bring to a simmer, but do not allow the sauce to boil to boil.

Working in batches of 12-15 at a time, add the gnocchi to the boiling water and cook until they float to the top, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the water with a mesh strainer and drain as much water off as possible. Add the cooked gnocchi to the sauce, repeat until all gnocchi are cooked. Gently toss in the sauce and serve immediately. Garnish with extra basil and thyme if desired.

Gnocchi with Basil & Thyme Cream Sauce

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Gnocchi

  • 5-6 russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 table

Sauce

  • 4 shallots
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup broth (chicken, beef or vegetable will all work fine)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  2. Peel and dice potatoes and cook in salted boiling water until soft
  3. Meanwhile, stem thyme, chop basil (chiffonade for garnish), finely dice shallots, and separate the eggs and beat the yolks
  4. Mash the potatoes using a potato masher or ricer and allow to cool
  5. Bring another pot of salted water to boil
  6. While potatoes are cooling, make the sauce
  7. Add butter to a large walled skillet and melt
  8. When butter is frothing, add shallots and cook until starting to caramelize, stirring frequently
  9. Add basil & thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds, then add red pepper flakes
  10. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook until sugar is dissolved
  11. Add broth and bring to a simmer
  12. Once simmering, lower heat to medium-low and add heavy cream and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Return to a simmer, but do not allow the sauce to come to a boil
  13. While the sauce simmers, finish the gnocchi
  14. Add egg yolk, a pinch of salt and pepper, and olive oil to the mashed potatoes and mix well
  15. Add flour and mix until fully incorporated, but do not over mix
  16. Working in batches, on a counter dusted with flour, roll the dough in to 1/4” “ropes” and cut into 1/4” dumplings
  17. Roll the gnocchi with edge with your finger along the tines of a fork to create the traditional gnocchi pattern
  18. Working in batches of about 12-15, boil the gnocchi until floating, about 1-2 minutes, then use a mesh strainer basket to drain well and transfer to the sauce. Repeat for all the gnocchi.
  19. Gently toss in sauce, garnish with extra basil and thyme
  20. Serve immediately

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