Vegetarian homemade gnocchi (potato dumplings) with delicious girolles (wild mushrooms) is the best seasonal recipe. If you want a dish that truly celebrates these wild, delicate mushrooms – search no more. This is the recipe you have to try.
Girolle mushrooms were never a delicacy for me. I was so used to the way in late summer and early autumn, my entire family would go to the nearby forest and pick these beauties. I never would have guessed that in the rest of the world, these mushrooms could be so precious and so expensive. But moving to London made me appreciate these mushrooms even more!
When I was younger, there were so many times I’d feel that going to the forest and picking mushrooms was so much hard work. I wasn’t very excited to do it. Although, the idea that in the evening we’d have the most delicious dinner, helped me keep going.
It was always our tradition – that after we’d come back home from the forest, I’d start cleaning the mushrooms and my mum would take care of potatoes. This dish was an ultimate summer celebration. It had boiled new potatoes adorned with lovely dill, served alongside girolles cooked with bacon, onions and double cream. I can still smell that amazing aroma from my mum’s kitchen like it was yesterday…
So today, I’m sharing an interpretation of this wonderful dish. I kept all the ingredients, but just gave my own unique spin – fluffy homemade gnocchi with white wine girolle sauce. Delicious!
Why This Dish Is So Good?
- First of all, this dish is very seasonal. You can find girolles in UK forests from August to October. So basically, you have less than 3 months window to make this recipe. Go, go!
- Eating produce from the forest is really special. It helps create a small celebration with your loved ones.
- Fluffy and soft homemade gnocchi (potato dumplings) are the most amazing dish to make for weekend lunch with your family. They bring all the familiar flavours of potato, combined with a stylish Italian spin.
Tips and Tricks for Making Homemade Gnocchi
It might feel a little scary making homemade gnocchi for the first time. However, it’s not as complicated as you might think. I promise. Just follow these tips and you’ll be good.
- Always boil your potatoes with the skin on. If you have leftover potatoes from your roast dinner, don’t use them to make homemade gnocchi! You’ll end up with a crazy texture.
- Try to make your paste as smooth as possible. You can use a potato masher, ricer or any other gadget that will help you to achieve this texture. I used a fork and mashed the potatoes for 5 minutes to make sure there were no lumps left.
- Be careful with flour usage. Try to use as little as possible of this ingredient. The best way to do it is to add the flour in a couple of batches. This way you might end up using less flour than the recipe states.
- Keep the cooking time very short. Think, you just need to re-heat the potatoes. So, no more than 2-3 minutes in boiling water. What I like to do, is the moment the gnocchi reach the top of the water, I give them an extra 40 seconds before quickly scooping them into the sauce.
Homemade Gnocchi with Girolles Sauce Substitutions
You can also use this sauce recipe for inspiration and create something entirely different.
- Use different mushrooms – if you can’t find girolles, don’t worry (however if you live in the UK you can check these brands: Natoora, Fine & Wild). You can also use porcini, chestnut or shiitake mushrooms.
- Add bacon or pancetta to the sauce to bring meaty and smoky flavours.
- Swap white wine with the juice of one lemon.
- You can also completely change the sauce and use different veggies – broccoli, cauliflower or sweet peas. Whatever you like!
1 egg yolk
200g plain flour
1 tablespoon semolina
Pinch of salt
100ml white wine
50ml double cream
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Prepare the gnocchi
- Cook the whole potatoes with their skins left-on for 10-15 minutes until they are soft.
- Peel the cooked potatoes and mash them until you get a smooth texture.
- Add the egg yolk, salt and flour. Mix everything together using your hands. Try to use flour as little as you can.
- The dough shouldn’t be very sticky, and it should hold together.
- Divide the dough into 4 same size pieces. Roll a piece at a time into a long cylinder.
- Cut the dough into 1cm thick pieces. You can create a pattern by using a gnocchi wooden gadget or the backend of your fork, but you can also leave it as it is.
- Dust the gnocchi with semolina.
- Bring a large pot with salted water to boil. Add the gnocchi. Let them cook for 2-4 minutes. They are supposed to bob back up to the surface. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon.
Prepare the sauce
- Prepare the girolles – clean them and cut them to same size pieces.
- Preheat the pan, add a knob of butter together with the girolles.
- Let them cook for a couple of minutes and add a splash of white wine. Let the wine evaporate.
- Add the double cream and season the sauce to your tasting.
- Add the cooked gnocchi to the sauce and finish it with the finely chopped parsley.
- Serve the dish with grated parmesan cheese and roasted peanuts.