Archive for Winter Pasta – Page 2

Pasta With Spicy Beef Tomato Sauce

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A pasta dish full of Greek flavours with a combination of cinnamon, cloves and cayenne. The spices remind me of the first spaghetti dish I absolutely fell in love that got me started down the path to pasta addiction! The pasta is simple to make and mouthwatering to eat!

DSC_5857 nx2Makes 3 – 4 Servings

2 Tbsp. EVO
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 large onions, halved, thinly sliced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 tomatoes, cut into ½” pieces
1 (8 oz.) tin passata or tomato sauce

8 oz. large macaroni (I use bucatini but you could use penne)

Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano

Heat EVO in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat; add the meat & onions & sauté until brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add the cinnamon, cayenne & cloves; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes & passata or tomato sauce; simmer until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, season with salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 Tbsp. salt & the pasta, stirring the pasta occasionally until al dente; checking 2 minutes before time stated on the package.

Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water; drain pasta in a colander & add to sauce, tossing to combine. If mixture appears too dry, add a couple of tablespoonful’s of water and keep tossing for about 1 minute. Place pasta in a large, heating serving bowl. Serve immediately passing the cheese.

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Braised Chicken In Saffron Cream And Pasta

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If you like saffron, this one is for you! It’s saffrony and winey and yummy! When I make this chicken, I like to serve it in the Italian manner, I use some of the sauce to dress the paccheri/pacchero pasta (a very large tube pasta with a big hole in the middle) as a primi (1st course), then follow with the chicken drizzled with more sauce and a green veg. as my secondo (2nd course). An excellent braise to be enjoyed in the fall, winter or spring months. If you can’t find the Paccheri/Pacchero you can substitute Rigatoni.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

DSC_5284 nx22 ½ – 2 ¾ lbs. whole chicken thighs, skin on
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. EVOO
2 cups chopped cooking onions
6 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
2 cups dry white wine, preferably Italian
1 tsp. saffron threads, crushed (don’t be tempted to use powdered)
2 cups (or more) low-salt/no-salt chicken stock** or purchased chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (or more to taste)
1/3 – ½ cup chopped fresh basil
12 oz. – 1 lb. Paccheri/Pacchero pasta or Rigatoni
½ cup + grated Parmigiano Reggiano

To Make the Chicken:

Add the saffron to the wine & set aside.

Season the chicken with salt & pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat & add the oil; add the chicken, skin side down & cook until golden on both sides; approximately 7 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate as it is browned; add the onions & garlic to the drippings in the skillet; sauté until the onions are slightly softened but not browned, 7 – 8 minutes. Add the wine-saffron mixture to the pan; bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the liquid is thickened & reduced by less than half; about 8 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken stock to the pan. Return the chicken to the skillet; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; cover & simmer gently until chicken is cooked through (adjusting the heat to prevent boiling & turning the chicken over after 20 minutes; continue cooking with the lid on, for another 10 – 15 minutes until the chicken juices run clear when pierced with a skewer.

DSC_5268 nx2Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil & preheat the oven to 180F. Place a large pasta bowl in the oven to warm, along with serving bowls/plates for the pasta.

When the chicken is cooked through, remove to a warm platter & keep warm while finishing the sauce. Spoon off fat from the juices in the skillet & discard. Add the cream to the pan & boil until the sauce is reduced to 2 ½ cups & is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Set aside half the sauce in the warm oven to be used for serving the chicken.

Cook the Pasta:

While the sauce is reducing, add 1 – 2 Tbsp. salt to the boiling water; add the pasta to the pot & cook according to directions on the package, or until al dente. When pasta is cooked, drain; add to the pan containing the remaining saffron sauce & toss well to coat the pasta, 1 – 2 minutes. Place the pasta into the large, warm serving bowl & top with some of the basil; serve, passing Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on the pasta.

To serve the chicken, nap the chicken with the saffron sauce & sprinkle with the remaining chopped basil.

**If you wish to make your own chicken stock, please go to Making Stock.

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A Favourite Mac ‘N Cheese

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Kid food, childhood memories, bubbly and golden mac ‘n cheese with tomatoes…what’s not to love? Because I adore tomatoes, this is right up my alley and I hope yours too! I like to make this with tomatoes that are available locally right up to the early fall; they are so sweet, juicy & delicious!

DSC_4398 nx2Makes 6 – 8 Servings

7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup breadcrumbs made from crusty bread**
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. elbow macaroni or other short tubular pasta
4 cups milk (not skimmed)
5 Tbsp. unbleached flour
½ cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 – ¼ tsp. Tabasco or to taste
4 cups grated cheese (a combination of 2 cups old cheddar, 1 cup each Gruyere & Parmesan or Fontina)
1 lb. red & yellow tomatoes, cut into 1” pieces, or for small tomatoes, cut in half

Combine the breadcrumbs with 2 Tbsp. of the butter that has been melted, along with 1 tsp. of the chopped thyme 1/8 tsp. salt & ¼ tsp. of the pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease or spray with non-stick cooking spray, a 3 quart casserole or 9 x 13” baking dish.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt then add the macaroni, stirring for a minute to keep from sticking. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes (it will not be fully cooked), drain, rinse & set aside.

Make the Cheese Sauce:

**I like to do this in the microwave but you can do it in a pot on top of the stove.

In a very large glass, microwavable bowl, melt the 5 Tbsp. butter on medium (level 5) heat; remove & add the onions; return to the microwave & cook on level 5, in 2 minute increments, until the onions are softened (approximately 8 – 10 minutes. One minute before the onions are done add the garlic & microwave one minute more. Whisk in the flour; return to the microwave for 2 minutes, level 5, until it bubbles a bit; very slowly whisk in the milk; add the nutmeg & return to the microwave & microwave on high for 2 minutes; whisk & continue cooking, in 2 minute increments, until the sauce comes to a boil & thickens. (If you don’t have a large enough bowl; do this step twice, otherwise it could overflow. Once the sauce is done, combine the two, then add the cheeses & seasonings.) Remove from the microwave; add the cheese, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. pepper, remaining 2 tsp. chopped thyme & Tabasco, whisking until the cheese is melted.

Stir the macaroni & tomatoes into the sauce. Pour into the greased casserole; sprinkle with the buttered breadcrumbs; bake until bubbling & golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes or so before serving.

**To make the breadcrumbs, please see How To Make Breadcrumbs.

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Turkey, Tomato, Mozzarella Lasagne


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I often find lasagna a bit heavy with all the cheeses & meats, however by using ground turkey, it is much lighter and very delicious. Lasagne is a great dish for entertaining; it can be made ahead and baked when needed. I like to use imported Italian plum tomatoes, because the tomatoes are really good and the juices nice & thick.

Makes 8 Servings

DSC_2274 nx2For the Sauce:

2 large onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. EVO
1 ½ lbs. ground turkey
2 carrots chopped into 1/8” dice
1 large red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 (28oz.) tin Italian plum tomatoes, diced
1 ½ cups dry red wine
1 tsp. dried basil, crumbled, or 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
¾ tsp. dried thyme, or 2 tsp. fresh thyme
¼ tsp. pepperoncino (dried red pepper flakes)
1/8 tsp. allspice
4 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the Lasagna:

15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 green onions, chopped
12 sheets of no-boil lasagna pasta (Barilla’s is quite good), 7×3 ½” sheets
12 oz. mozzarella, grated (you could use part skim)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

In a heavy skillet, cook the onions & ¾ of the minced garlic in EVO over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened. Add the turkey, carrots & bell pepper & cook, stirring to break up turkey lumps with a fork, until carrots are barely tender. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, herbs, spices, salt & pepper to taste; simmer uncovered, 25 minutes. Stir in remaining garlic & simmer a further 5 minutes. (You can make the sauce up to 3 days ahead; cool, cover & chill.

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a bowl stir together the ricotta, egg, green onions; add salt & pepper to taste.

Spread about 1 cup of the sauce into a well-greased 13 x 9” baking dish & cover with 3 lasagne sheets, making sure they do not touch each other. Divide the remaining sauce into quarters then spread a quarter of the sauce over the pasta. Drop 1/3 of the ricotta mixture by spoonful’s onto the sauce & gently spread with the back of a spoon, it won’t cover the whole surface. Sprinkle ¼ of the mozzarella over ricotta & make 2 more layers in the same way, beginning & ending with pasta. Spread remaining sauce evenly over top, making sure pasta is completely covered; sprinkle with Parmigiano & remaining mozzarella.

Place a piece of baking parchment over the lasagna, then cover the whole dish tightly with foil. (Using the baking parchment is a great trick & keeps the cheese from sticking). Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil & parchment and bake approximately 10 minutes more, or until top is bubbling & golden. Let lasagna stand for 10 – 15 minutes before cutting & serving.


“Official” Bolognese Sauce

This is it!  The “official” sauce from Bologna.  Buon appetito!

400 grams fresh pasta dough made with 4 eggs (never use spaghetti)
DSCN3304 nx2 pt2300 grams minced beef, the recommended cut is thin flank (aka skirt or finta cartella in Italian) but any good quality mince will do.
150 grams unsmoked pancetta, minced very finely
50 grams carrot, finely chopped or minced
50 grams celery, finely chopped or minced
50 grams onion, finely chopped or minced
30 grams triple concentrated tomato puree (if using double concentrated, increase the quantity by about a third). Comes in a tube, available at Italian grocery stores.
1/2 glass red or white wine
180 ml fresh milk
Extra Virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Make the Sauce:

1. Fry the pancetta gently in a little EVO until it starts to release its fat. Being careful not to burn the pancetta.
2.  Add the vegetables and fry until the onions are transparent, stirring from time to time.
3.  Add the beef and cook until it is lightly browned. When it starts to make popping noises, it’s done.
4.  Add the tomato puree and the wine and mix well.
5.  Add the milk, little by little until it is completely absorbed. Mario & Lidia use warm milk.
6.  Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook very slowly for 3 to 4 hours.
7.  Stir occasionally and if it looks like it is drying out, add a little more milk.
8.  Serve with fresh fettuccine or tagliatelle
9.  Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side. You can toss the pasta with a little butter, then add the cheese before adding the Bolognese sauce.

Variation: The Academy allows the addition of Porcini mushrooms. Soak them first in warm water until softened, about 20 minutes, chop & add to the minced beef for a minute or so before adding the remaining ingredients.

If you would like to make your own tagliatelle/fettuccine, click Food Processor/Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.

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Tagliatelle alla limone

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This pasta is infused with the wonderful fragrance of fresh lemons. It goes so well with a main course of fish, spot prawns, chicken, veal or lamb.  It’s a bit rich but could be a main course with say, an asparagus vinaigrette.  If you can find Meyer lemons, they make a gorgeous sauce!

Makes 4 First Course or 2 Main Course Servings

Basic pasta dough using 2 eggs** cut for tagliatelle/fettuccine covered with a towel & set aside, in a cool spot, but  not in the fridge.

Lemon Sauce:
2 Tbsp. lemon juice, Meyer lemon juice would be wonderful
2 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
3 Tbsp butter, ( scant)
3 ½ oz. heavy cream
5 Tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped fine

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 Tbsp. of salt. Place serving bowl & plates in a low oven to warm.

Make the sauce:

Melt the butter over medium-low heat; add the lemon zest and cook for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and let evaporate. Add the cream. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm.

Cook the pasta al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce if necessary. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Raise the heat to medium and toss the pasta & sauce together until pasta is done to your liking, perhaps a minute or two, adding pasta cooking water if sauce requires thinning. Remove from the heat, add the grated cheese and toss together and place in a shallow heated serving bowl. Top with the chopped parsley & freshly ground black pepper. Serve it forth. I hope you love this as much as we do.

**If you would like to make your own pasta, please go to Food Processor or Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.

Rigatoni With Italian Sausage & Mushrooms

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One of my favourite bosses, when I cooked for the executive dining room, loved pasta and he would ask me why I never cooked it for him. So, one day I surprised him with this pasta, he was very pleased! Of course, I had to use a pasta shape that was easy to eat or they would splash sauce all over their suits! If you use dried porcini mushrooms often, it might be worthwhile to buy them in the larger bags from Bosa** or other Italian grocery stores. I store them in the freezer in an airtight container and they keep very well. That you can make the sauce ahead is a good thing when entertaining!

Makes 6 Servings

1 oz. (about 30 grams) dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lb. hot Italian sausages, or ½ lb. each hot & mild, casings removed
1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
½ tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled or 1 ½ tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped fine
½ cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1 cup beef stock**or tinned unsalted broth
1 ¼ lbs. rigatoni pasta
1 cup creamo (half & half)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano + additional for serving
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 – 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Place the porcini in a small bowl & pour 1 cup hot water over; let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain porcini, reserving soaking liquid. Chop porcini, discarding any hard stems. Set aside. Line a sieve with either 2 layers of rinsed cheesecloth or a damp, small coffee filter & pour the reserved soaking liquid through to remove any sediment or sand.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Warm a large pasta serving bowl in a 180 F. oven.

Melt butter in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add onion & cook until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, increase heat to high & cook just until no longer pink, breaking up lumps with a fork, about 6 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms & dried rosemary (if using fresh add later) & stir until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add porcini, wine & bay leaf & boil until almost all liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Add stock & porcini soaking liquid. Simmer until sauce is syrupy, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. The sauce can be made 2 days ahead, cool slightly, chill until cold, cover & keep chilled.)

When the water is boiling, add the pasta, stirring for a minute to prevent sticking; cook until al dente (tender but still firm to the bite.) Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water & drain the pasta in a colander.

Meanwhile, add the creamo & fresh rosemary (if using) to the sauce & boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta to the sauce; stirring to coat with the sauce. Add the Parmigiano & season with salt & pepper to taste, tossing to combine. If the pasta appears to be dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water. Pour the pasta into the heated serving bowl; sprinkle with the chopped parsley & serve, passing additional Parmigiano.

**If you would like to make homemade stock, please see Making Stock.

**If you would like to visit Bosa, please see My Source List for their two locations.

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Tuscan Veal, Sausage And Porcini Ragu

What can I say, this is delizioso! A ragu that can be served with fresh pappardelle or fettucccine.  See below for link.  If we feel like pici with the ragu (a thick, long Tuscan pasta), I substitute a dried pasta called Strangozzi made by De Cecco di Filippo, or Gigi’s Spaghetti alla Chitarra  Ah…I long for the Tuscan countryside!

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

DSC_6673 nx21 cup water
1 oz. (30 grams) dried Porcini mushrooms
¼ cup EVOO
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, finely chopped
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 oz. sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
8 oz. veal stew meat, coarsely chopped
½ dry red wine
28 oz. chicken stock**or tinned low/no salt chicken broth
1 – 28 oz. tin Italian plum tomatoes, in juice, chopped, reserve juice
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
(opt.) 1/8 tsp. pepperoncino (red pepper flakes), unless your sausages are spicy

It’s traditional to use 1 lb. fresh pappardelle, fettuccine or pici or 12 oz. of the dried strangozzi, but garganelli was what I used here.
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring 1 cup water & porcini to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat & allow to stand 15 minutes. Drain porcini, reserving soaking liquid. Chop porcini, discarding any hard stems. Set aside. Line a sieve with either 2 layers of rinsed cheesecloth or a damp small coffee filter & pour the reserved soaking liquid through to remove any sediment or sand.

Heat the oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, ¼ cup parsley & garlic (known as a battuto); sauté until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Push veggies to side of skillet. Add sausage & cook until brown, breaking up with a fork, about 4 minutes. Add veal & sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Add wine; increase heat to high & boil until wine is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken stock; boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved mushroom liquid & simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes. Cool mixture for 15 minutes, then transfer to a food processor. Using approximately 4 on/off turns, process just until coarsely chopped; return the mixture to the skillet; mix in the tomatoes and their juices, bay leaves, sage, fennel seeds & porcini mushrooms. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered until sauce thickens; adding remaining chicken stock ½ cup at a time & stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour; season to taste with salt & pepper. The ragu can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly, chill uncovered until cold, then cover & keep chilled.

While the ragu is simmering, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Warm a large pasta serving bowl in a 180 F. oven.

When the ragu is done, add 1 Tbsp. salt to the pot of boiling water, then add the pasta & cook until al dente (tender but still firm to the bite), stirring occasionally. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta & add to the sauce, tossing briefly to combine, over medium heat. Transfer to the warmed serving bowl. Sprinkle with Parmigiano & the remaining 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley & serve immediately.

Trust me…it’s worth the bit of effort!

To make your own pasta, please click Food Processor or Stand Mixer Pasta Dough.

To make your own stock, please click Making Stock.

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Cauliflower, Pancetta Whole-Wheat Linguine

When the first, sweet cauliflower of the season appears at our Farmer’s Market, I look forward to making this slightly spicy pasta. I really like whole-wheat pasta with vegetable sauces, especially with the crunchy breadcrumb topping. Very rustic but really yummy!

Makes 4 Servings (Main Course)

1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices country style bread)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. EVO
1 large cauliflower (2 ½ lbs.), divided & cut into 1” wide florets (8 cups)
¼ lb. sliced pancetta, cut into ¼” dice
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ tsp. pepperoncino (red pepper flakes)
1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
¾ lb. dried whole-wheat linguine or spaghetti (di Grano is a good brand)
½ oz. finely grated Parmigian-Reggiano + extra for serving
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

In a small bowl stir together the breadcrumbs, salt & 1 Tbsp. EVO until well combined. Transfer to a 12” heavy skillet & cook over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp & golden, 3 – 5 minutes, then transfer back to the bowl. Set aside. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place a large serving bowl in a preheated 180 F oven.

Heat remaining ¼ cup EVO in skillet over medium heat. Sauté the pancetta until it is cooked halfway. Remove & set aside. Turn the heat up to medium-high, then sauté the cauliflower, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Return the pancetta to the pan & sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, add the garlic, red pepper flakes & sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth to the pan, reduce heat & simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender & sauce is slightly reduced, about 7 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, add 1 Tbsp. salt to the large pot of water & cook the pasta al dente (still slightly firm), about 1 or 2 minutes before the specified cooking time. Remove ½ cup of pasta cooking water and reserve. Drain the pasta in a colander.

Add the pasta to the pan with the cauliflower, along with the cheese & parsley & simmer, tossing for 1 minute; if pasta appears to be too dry, add a tablespoon or so of the reserved pasta cooking water. Season with salt if necessary; place the pasta into the heated serving bowl & sprinkle with the crumbs. Pass extra Parmigiano.

**If you would like to make whole-wheat crumbs, please go to Making Breadcrumbs.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Hazelnut Brown Butter Sauce

This was our first course last Thanksgiving, followed by a roast of pork. Sensational. The gnocchi were very light and delicious. The addition of locally sourced hazelnuts found at our Farmer’s Markets makes for an outstanding dish.

1 ¼ lbs. russet (baking) potatoes
1 (3/4 lb.) sweet potato, not the orange ones
1 large egg
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano + more for serving
1 ½ – 2 cups unbleached flour+ extra for dusting

Special Equipment: Potato ricer (great for making mashed potatoes too, they come out really fluffy).

Make the Gnocchi:

Preheat oven to 450F with rack in the middle.

Pierce potatoes in several places with a fork, then bake on a rimmed baking pan until just tender, testing after 30 minutes.
Cool potatoes slightly, then peel & force through a potato ricer onto a rimmed baking pan, gently spreading in an even layer. Cool potatoes completely. Lightly flour 2 rimmed baking pans.

Beat together egg, nutmeg, salt & ½ tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Place potatoes onto a slightly floured surface, using a pastry scraper. Make a well in the middle, then pour egg mixture into the well; knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 1 ½ cups of flour, knead, adding more flour as necessary until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Dust top lightly with a bit of flour.

Rolling and Cutting the Gnocchi:

Cut dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece into a ½” thick rope on the lightly floured surface. Cut rope into ½” pieces. Place gnocchi onto lightly floured rimmed baking sheets; continue rolling & cutting the remaining 5 pieces of dough. (If you are so inclined, you can roll the gnocchi down over the back of fork tines, pressing with your thumb to make ridges). Let me say, right now, I do not bother, it’s kind of tricky!  But you can make a little indentation with your finger to capture the sauce.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp of salt. Working in 2 batches, add half the gnocchi. Cook until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a “spider” or slotted spoon to the warm butter, hazelnut sauce & repeat with the remaining gnocchi. Heat the gnocchi over medium heat stirring gently to coat. Serve in warmed bowls, topping each serving with some of the hazelnuts from the sauce & the reserved sage, finishing with grated Parmigiano. Yummy!

Make The Sauce:

½ cup butter
1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted lightly & skinned**
½ cup sage leaves, not packed

In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. EVO until hot. Toss in the sage leaves, stirring until they turn just a shade lighter & crisp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to paper towels to drain & season lightly with salt. Set aside. You can do this step well ahead.
In a skillet cook butter with hazelnuts over moderate heat until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Season sauce with salt & freshly ground black pepper & keep warm.

**Uncooked gnocchi can be placed onto a baking parchment lined rimmed baking pan & frozen. When frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. Do not thaw before cooking. Nice to have in the freezer!

**To see how to toast & skin the hazelnuts, please go to Toasting Nuts.