Yes there are hearts on the towel and yes: the beets are red and okay… I made this for Valentine’s day. But I make it other days too—and so can you. It is simple to make, easy to freeze and maybe a smidgen healthier than their potato-only cousin.
I recently hosted a cooking class based on 3 kinds of gnocchi and a trio of Italian desserts. We made sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce, beet gnocchi with poppy seed butter sauce and traditional gnocchi—sauteed with vegetables. And since you want to know: dessert was tiramisu, arborio rice pudding and biscotti with Vin Santo. Needless to say, class attendees quickly became gnocchi-making experts—and walked away quite full! (Here is a great step by step re: making gnocchi).
Beet Gnocchi with Poppy Seed Butter Sauce
350 g potatoes (or 3 medium), cooked and peeled
200 g red beets, cooked (3-4 medium), cooked and peeled
1 large egg
flour (1 cup or more)
5-6 T butter
1-2 T poppy seeds
Cook, peel and put beets and potato through a potato ricer, to blend. Add egg, salt and pepper and flour and mix with your hands. If it feels dry, feel free to add another small egg. Add only enough flour so it isn’t sticky, and don’t over-process. Here are some good gnocchi-making instructions for a cross-reference.
Once you have formed a ball, cut off chunks of the dough (roughly 1-2 cups worth) and roll out into a long snake, 3/4 inch in diameter. Use flour only as needed, so it doesn’t stick. Cut 3/4 inch pieces to make gnocchi. Then using gnocchi paddles or a fork, press each piece onto fork thing ‘flick’ it off end of fork onto counter. Toss with semolina or rice flour so they don’t stick to each other. Freeze on single layer tray, then put in bags for long-term freezer storage.
Whether gnocchi comes straight from being made or directly from your freezer: add to boiling salted water (1-2 cups at a time) until they float. When they float: they are done. You can either serve them directly and/or saute them for a crispy edge.
To make sauce: melt butter in saucepan, when it starts to bubble add poppy seeds. Let cook another 1-2 minutes then off heat and toss in bowl with gnocchi. Serve immediately. Yes: the beets pictured below are yellow. And yes: you can make gnocchi with yellow beets too. It isn’t always Valentine’s Day after all.