Monday, October 5, 2009

An Autumnal Meal

Due to the joys of working in a non-profit, I am able to tap into a behemoth of vacation days, which allows me to take long weekends just because I can. This past weekend, I extended the grueling short two-day normal weekend, into a four-day magnum. On Friday, I spent time with my Uncle Alan, stuffing our faces with dim sum from The Golden Unicorn (loved it), then meandered to the West Village, where he introduced me to Rafetto’s, the homemade pasta store that has been in business since 1906. We bought fresh pasta, cut to order (Rosemary pappardelle) and their famous ravilios (spinach and cheese), both freezer-friendly. Since I was out and about the rest of the weekend, I happily froze my pasta, but thought of it fondly. So when my fourth day of my weekend rolled around, I really wanted to buy more pasta, but this time, cook it right away. Unfortunately, Rafetto’s is closed on Mondays, so I had to think on my feet. I ended up at Murray’s Cheese on Bleeker and was quite pleased with what I found; fresh homemade pumpkin gnocchi.

With some inspiration from this month’s Gourmet Magazine, I made fresh pumpkin gnocchi with fried sage, shallot, and chestnuts. Here’s how:

Boil a pot of water and cook the fresh gnocchi for eight minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and a tablespoon of butter until hot. Add sage leaves and cook for about a minute and remove. Add chopped shallots and slivered chestnuts (I found whole chestnuts at my Italian market. Warning: de-shelling is time consuming), cook for about 2-3 minutes.

Once the gnocchi is cooked thoroughly, save about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and add to the sauce. Pour sauce onto the gnocchi and add heaps of fresh Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!