Gnocchi à la Parisienne Recipe

Unlike Italian gnocchi made from either potatoes or semolina, the Parisian-style recipe from Bijou French Bistro’s Chef de Cuisine Shaun Gethin begins with pâte à choux: French pastry dough commonly used as the base for gougères, éclairs and profiteroles. Poached, then sautéed in brown butter, these dumplings are lighter and airier than their Italian cousins — and perfect for a French twist on your holiday soirée!

Gnocchi à la Parisienne
Serves 4

8 quarts and 3/4 c. water, divided use
4 T. unsalted butter, divided use
1/2 T. salt
1 c. flour
2 large eggs
3 T. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided use
Sea salt to taste
5 cherry tomatoes
3 T. olive oil, divided use
1 thyme sprig
3 T. Kosher salt, plus to taste
5 baby pattypan squash
1 T. unsalted butter
5 Niçoise olives, pitted and sliced
2 T. fines herbes (a blend of fresh parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil), chopped

In a medium pot over high heat, bring 3/4 c. water, 3 tablespoons of butter and salt to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add flour all at once. Reduce heat to low and return the pot to the stove. With a wooden spoon, work the dough until it pulls away from the side of the pot.

Transfer dough to a mixer with a paddle attachment and set on medium speed. Once the dough cools, continue working it while adding eggs, one at a time. Then add 2 T. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and sea salt to taste. Transfer dough to a large piping bag with a small tip.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. In a small bowl, toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of oil, thyme sprig and sea salt to taste. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

Bring 2 quarts of water and 3 T. kosher salt to a boil. Blanch squash in salted water until tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove squash from boiling water and place into an ice bath. Once cooled, quarter each squash and set aside.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in an 8-quart pot. Season the water with a generous amount of Kosher salt and reduce to simmer. Using a paring knife, cut 1/2-inch pieces of the dough and drop them into the boiling water. When gnocchi float to the top, transfer them into an ice bath, then onto a tray lined with towels. Let rest until fully cooled.

Put 2 tablespoons of oil in medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Just before the oil smokes, add quartered squash and sauté until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer squash to a tray lined with paper towels.

Add gnocchi to pan and sear until golden brown on one side. Add butter to pan. Slide pan back and forth over the burner until butter browns.

Place gnocchi in a medium bowl with some of the brown butter. Add squash, tomatoes, olives, remaining 1 T. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and fines herbes. Toss and finish with a touch of sea salt.

Chef de Cuisine Shaun Gethin
Bijou French Bistro
1205 Prospect St.
La Jolla, California

Categories: Food & Drink