Italian Classics:

Gnocchi Quatro Fromaggio, Sea Bass al Cartoccio, and Poached Plums with Mascarpone and Brown Sugar Crumble

Kitchen Tools:
• Large Mixing Bowl
• 3 Forks
• Floured work surface
• Bench knife
• Gnocchi paddle (or fork0
• Large pot of well salted water
• 4-QT pot
• Whisk
• Wooden spoon or spatula
• Small hand mixer or immersion wand
• 4 large sheets of unwaxed baking paper cut in large tear drops, basketball diameter at the widest part
• 2 Sheet Pans
• 4 or 6 quart pot
• Serving ware

Note: At the beginning of class have your pot of well salted water on the stove, your oven preheated to 425F, and in addition to preparing all of the ingredients listed in each recipe as stated you should complete the crumble recipe and have that part of dessert made in advance.

Gnocchi Quatro Fromaggio (potato dumplings in a four cheese cream sauce)

The Gnocchi

• 3 large Idaho potatoes, baked, peeled and riced
• 3T ground aged Parmesan cheese
• 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, beaten
• 2t kosher salt
• 2t ground white pepper
• Up to 3 and1/2 cups AP flour…depending on time of year and altitude you might use 2 and ¾ cups… but the dough will tell you….don’t worry

1. Place the riced potatoes while still warm in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the cheese, egg, salt, pepper and 2 and 1/2 cups of the flour.
3. Immediately begin stirring vigorously while holding two or 3 forks in your fingers, using the tines as mixing instruments.
4. When the mixture has begun to coalesce into thick pieces of shredded dough, begin forming with your hands.
5. If the mixture feels ‘wet’ or sticky add more flour a little at a time.
6. When the dough is no longer ‘sticky’ turn out, in one lump, onto a floured work surface and let rest for 5 minutes under a slightly damp cloth
7. Cut dough into 5-6 pieces with a bench knife.
8. Roll out each piece into a long ‘hot dog’ shape.
9. Cut to size. Roll on a gnocchi paddle or across a fork to make the indentations that are important for holding sauce on the dumplings.
10. Boil in rapidly moving well salted water or freeze.

The Sauce

• 3T minced shallots
• 2T butter
• 1 pinch nutmeg
• 1 pinch hot chile flakes
• 3 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup whole milk
• 1/2 cup grated aged Parmesan
• 1 cup nice ripe imported Gorgonzola
• 1 cup Fontina D’aosta, grated on larger holes of a box grater
• 1 cup caprino fresco (fresh goats milk cheese, typically just 3-5 days old. A young smooth creamy chevre is a very fine nearly identical replacement for caprino.
• Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to season

1. Heat the butter in a 4 quart pot over low heat, add the minced shallots, nutmeg and chile flakes, cook for several minutes until the shallots are glassy. Add the cream and heat until you see steam but no simmering. Lower heat to maintain the lightest simmer possible. Add the cheeses one at time, whisking until they are incorporated into the sauce… if it’s too thick, drizzle in a little milk.
2. Raise heat to a light/medium simmer and using a small hand mixer or immersion wand, give it a quick buzz.
3. Keep hot and use to with the gnocchi passing parmesan at the table.
4. Refrigerate any leftover sauce, it reheats well.

Sea Bass al Cartoccio (sea bass cooked in paper with fennel, leeks and white wine)

• 4 cleaned filets of sea bass (roughly 6oz each)
• 2 Meyer lemons, thinly sliced
• 1 fennel bulb, tops trimmed and discarded sliced thin
• 2 leeks, green tops discarded, sliced thin.
• 12-16 yellow cherry tomatoes
• 4 sprigs tarragon
• 2 shallots, sliced
• ¾ cup white wine
• 12T of superb olive oil
• Sea salt and ground white pepper
• 2 egg whites gently mixed with a fork
• Crusty bread for serving

1. Fold the sheets lengthwise.
2. Working with all four sheets simultaneously, pile the ingredients off center towards the crease in following order.
Olive oil
3. Fold the top over the bottom, sealing with egg whites as a glue.
4. Make small folds moving from the top of the teardrop to the point, sealing and brushing as you go. Twist the ends, brush the tops of the pouches with remaining egg whites and bake on a sheet pan, for 20 minutes in the center of a 425 degree oven.
5. Remove and serve immediately, with lots of crusty bread, cutting the pouches open at the table.

Poached Plums with Mascarpone and Brown Sugar Crumble

The Crumble – should be prepared in advance of class
• 1 stick butter, softened
• 1 cup toasted pecan halves
• 2/3 cup flour
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/4t vanilla
• 1/2t ground cinnamon
• 2 pinches ground nutmeg
1. Pulse the pecans in a food processor to lightly grind.
2. Combine with all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl.
3. Refrigerate for an hour
4. Crumble the crumble onto a cookie sheet and bake for roughly 20-25 minutes at 350 until dark and cooked through. Let cool and use as a crunchy crumble topping for these plums, ice cream etc.

The Plums
• 8 plums, firm and ripe but not mushy
• 1 cinnamon sticks
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar
• 3T white sugar
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon orange zest
• Juice of the zested orange
• 1 bud star anise
• 1/4t vanilla extract
• 1 cup dark rum
• 4 cups of a good red wine. I use Cote du Rhone from Guigal for all my cooking.
• 6 cloves

1. Place all the ingredients into a 4 or 6 quart pot. Add warm water if you need to in order to just about cover the plums. Bring to a boil, lower heat and continue simmering for 15-20 minutes, turning plums every 5 minutes.
2. Remove plums to a serving platter. Reduce sauce until almost glaz-y. Strain sauce. Pour over plums and serve at room temperature.
3. Serve the plums with a dollop of Mascarpone and a few tablespoons of the crumble