Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gnocchi with Lentils and Prosciutto

When we were in Montreal, we had the most decadent, duck-fat filled creation at Au Pied de Cochon with gnocchi, lentils, and all kinds of meat. We tried to re-create it at my parent's house about a month ago, and it was delicious, but I wanted to see if I could do again with an even more humble interpretation since we used an amazing duck liver mousse the first time around.

I'm know I just said I'm desperate for spring flavors, but as we hunker down for yet another snow storm (!), this kind of comforting, stick to your ribs food still feels right. The ingredient list is a little long, but you could sub out anything on it (except the gnocchi and lentils!). Celery, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale could all be nice additions, and I think a vegetarian version would be just lovely.

I've done my best with the directions, but this loose recipe is bound to frustrate you rule-followers in our midst :) If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!

Gnocchi with Lentils and Prosciutto

Serves 4
You will need:

1 package potato gnocchi
1/2 cup lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced and halved
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms (we used oyster)
3 slices prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup liquid - water, stock, wine, and cream (I used some of each)

The original dish had pickled beets - divine. In place of that, I used a small bundle of broccoli rabe for some bitterness. Also, a warning: regular beets will turn the dish pink :) The original was also meatier - feel free to add sausage, duck, chicken, or pate of some kind if you're feeling fancy!
Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Boil the lentils for a bit, just to get them going in the cooking process - maybe 15 minutes. You don't want to turn them into mush since they cook in the oven, too. While those are cooking, saute the vegetables in a bit of butter until soft, about 10 minutes. In a casserole dish, combine the uncooked gnocchi, lentils, and vegetables. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add liquid until you can see it come up the sides, but don't submerge everything - I'd guess you need about a cup total. Place the torn pieces of prosciutto on top - the liquid you added shouldn't really make these wet at all.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the gnocchi is soft and the prosciutto is crispy.

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