This dish was a bit of a labour of love, clocking in at exactly 2 hours from ‘couch to plate’. It was worth every minute. Gnocchi is a delight any time, even with a simple sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. However, the ragu stole the show. The sauce was absolutely delicious, and came together beautifully. With every mouthful came another burst of fresh flavour. Mushroom, smoked meat, sausage, basil.. a symphony of palate pleasing goodness.
I’d put this one high on your ‘To Do’ list.
Potato Gnocchi with Chicken and Wild Mushroom Ragu
Serves: 6 to 8
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ½ cups dry white wine
1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 ounces smoked meat, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
6 ounces fresh, mild Italian sausage or similar, casings removed (about 2 links)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 pounds potato gnocchi, prepared
- Place dried porcini mushrooms in medium bowl; pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over.
- Let stand until mushrooms are soft, about 45 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to cutting board and chop coarsely. Reserve soaking liquid.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over Medium-High heat. Add cremini mushrooms and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until beginning to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup wine and simmer until mushrooms are soft, about 4 minutes. Set aside (there may still be some liquid).
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over Medium-High heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and sauté until browned in spots, about 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to medium bowl. Reduce heat to medium, add sausage and cook until brown, breaking into small pieces with back of spoon, about 3 minutes. Add smoked meat and stir 1 minute.
- Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cover pot and cook vegetables until soft, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Add remaining 2 cups wine, bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits.
- Simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, 1 cup broth, bay leaves, reserved chicken, and porcini mushrooms. Pour in reserved porcini soaking liquid, leaving any sediment behind in the bowl. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to Medium-Low and simmer uncovered until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the potato gnocchi. Add gnocchi to boiling water and simmer until gnocchi float to surface.
- Stir cremini mushroom mixture into the ragu. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in basil.
- Divide gnocchi and ragu among bowls.