Recipe: Trattoria Marcella's Gnocchi de Patata Alla Romagnola

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Gnocchi de Patata Alla Romagnola
Courtesy of Trattoria Marcella’s Steve Komorek
6 Servings

For the sauce:
4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cleaned of excess fat and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 Tbsp. freshly minced garlic
2 lbs. cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 cup red wine
2 28-oz. cans plum tomatoes, crushed
5 cups chicken broth

For the gnocchi: 
2 lbs. russet potatoes, scrubbed
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
¼ cup egg (1 to 2 large eggs), lightly beaten
Kosher salt to taste
Pecorino cheese, grated

• Season the pork with salt and pepper. Dredge it in flour and shake off the excess. 

• Coat a large saucepot with olive oil. Working in batches, brown the pork on all sides and transfer to a plate.

• Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and saute until tender. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and saute until the mushrooms are soft. Add the red wine and reduce the heat.

• Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and browned pork to the pot. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour, or until the pork is fork-tender. Season to taste and set the sauce aside.

• To make the gnocchi: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they’re fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and peel while they’re still hot.

• Use a ricer to shred the potatoes, or use a towel to shave them over the large holes of a box grater.

• Dust a clean workspace with flour. Create a mound with the potatoes and season lightly with salt. Create a well in the middle of the mound. 

• Inside the well, place the beaten egg and ¾ cup of flour. Using your hands, slowly and gently fold the potato into the flour and egg. Once the mixture is well-blended, gently knead the dough. Dust more flour on top as you knead if the dough feels sticky. The dough is ready when it’s slightly moist but firm.

• Divide the dough into 8 equal sections, and roll each section into a strand the width of your index finger. Gently cut each strand into pieces slightly less than 1-inch long. To texture the gnocchi, roll it over a fork and press down gently.

• Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop no more than 2 handfuls of gnocchi into the boiling water at a time. The gnocchi will float to the top when they’re finished. Remove from heat. Once all of the gnocchi have been removed, toss them in the sauce* and top with grated pecorino cheese.

* You will likely have sauce leftover, as this recipe yields 6 quarts of sauce. It will keep, refrigerated, in an airtight container for 1 week.

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