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Potato Dumplings with Squab in Guazzetto

Lidia’s Recipe

Lidia e Joe Bastianich

For 6 people

For the Grana Padano Stock
4 quarts cold water
2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into large dice
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
1 medium onions, cut into quarters
1 leek, white and green parts, trimmed, sliced and washed
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
salt
Four to six 3-inch x 2-inch Grana Padano reserved rinds (grate with knife blade and wash with cold water)

For the squab guazzetto
4 squabs
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
¼ cup chicken livers, minced
2 slices bacon, diced
3 bay leaves
10 pieces of dry porcini
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, or ½ dried
4 whole cloves
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 teaspoons tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups Grana Padano stock (You will need to make ahead; see below)
1 cup Grated Grana Padano

Gnocchi
6 large Idaho or russet potatoes
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
dash of freshly ground white pepper
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups unbleached flour
a dash of nutmeg
1 cup grated Padano for shaping the gnocchi
1 cup grated Grana Padano for serving
 

 

For the stock
Put all the ingredients except the salt in a large (about 8 quart) stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Adjust the heat to a strong simmer and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally for 1 hour. Skim the foam that rises to the surface once or twice as the stock cooks.
Cool to a room temperature. The stock can be refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen up to 3 months.

For the guazzetto
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium flame. Add the onion, chicken livers, bacon, bay leaves, rosemary, and cloves, and sauté about 5 minutes, until the onion is wilted. Push the mixture to the side of the pan farthest from the center of the burner. Set the porcini mushrooms to soak in 1 cup of hot Grana Padano stock.
Season the squab with salt and pepper, add them to the pan, and brown them on both sides, turning once, about 4 minutes on each side. If necessary, reduce the heat to prevent the onion from burning.

Add the tomato paste, wine, and Grana Padano stock, and bring to a simmer, shaking the skillet and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon. Cook 5 minutes, turning the squab. Bring the contents of the skillet to a boil and cook until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 45 minutes. In the meantime, begin to prepare the gnocchi as you see below.

Once the gnocchi are shaped, you may finish the sauce. Remove the squab, when cool, from the pan. Pluck the meat off of the bone, removing any fat. Pass the sauce through a sieve, pressing down hard on the solids. Return the meat to the sauce and bring to a boil. In the meantime, cook the gnocchi. Set half of the squab sauce in the skillet.

Gnocchi
Boil the potatoes in their skins about 4 minutes, until easily pierced with a skewer. When cool enough to handle, peel and rice the potatoes, and set them aside to cool completely, spreading them loosely to expose as much surface as possible to air. (The reason for this is to allow as much evaporation of moisture as possible to avoid the need of additional flour, therefore keeping the gnocchi light.)

Before proceeding further, bring 6 quarts water to the boil.

On a cool, preferably marble work surface, gather the cold riced potatoes into a mound, forming a well in the center. Stir the 1 teaspoon salt and the white pepper into the beaten eggs and pour the mixture into the well. Work the potatoes and eggs together with both hands, gradually adding 3 cups of the flour and the grated Grana Padano (alternating) and scraping the dough up from the work surface with a knife as often as necessary. (Incorporation of the ingredients should take no longer than 10 minutes. The longer the dough is worked, the more flour it will require and the heavier it will become.)

Dust the dough, your hands, and the work surface lightly with flour and cut the dough into six equal parts. Continue to dust dough, hands, and surface as long as the dough feels sticky.

Using both hands, roll each piece of dough into a rope ½” thick, then slice the ropes at ½” intervals. Indent each dumpling with a thumb, or use the tines of a fork to produce a ribbed effect or lightly press the dough against a half moon cheese grater, to produce a different pattern.) Spread them on lightly floured sheet pan.

Cooking and serving the gnocchi with the sauce
To cook and serve gnocchi, drop the gnocchi into boiling water a few at a time, stirring gently and continuously with a wooden spoon, and cook 2-3 minutes, until they rise to the surface.
Drain the gnocchi well and add to the skillet with sauce. Toss well and coat all of the gnocchi. Add the grated Grana Padano, remaining sauce and serve.