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Crisp Gnocchi With Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter

This pan of gnocchi is all the things; crispy, buttery, salty, incredibly comforting. It’s the kind of dish that'll make you feel okay about the fact that restaurants are closed. I’m telling you, it is swoon worthy and you will undoubtedly think about it on the regular henceforth. Plus, check out that ingredient list, it is basic! You. Can. Do. This!

If you’ve got some shelf-stable or refrigerated potato (or cauliflower) gnocchi already, then this recipe will come together in about 20 minutes. But if you’ve got some time, I encourage you to try your hand at homemade gnocchi. It is fairly simple and dare I say therapeutic?! Squeezing that silky-smooth dough in your hands is quite pleasurable. Also you’ll get the added bonus of enjoying smug confidence for at least the rest of the night.

Also, bonus content alert, do you need a fun playlist to accompany you while you make this awesome gnocchi recipe? Have you seen the new National Arts Centre partnership with Facebook #CanadaPerforms aimed at providing financial relief to performing artists whose livelihood has been cut off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the first performance on the NAC's facebook page, featuring none other than Jim Cuddy <3 <3 <3

Crisp Gnocchi With Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter

1 pound brussels sprouts

1 lemon

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1 (18-ounce) package shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi or freshly cooked (see below)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into 6 pieces

½ teaspoon honey

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Trim and halve the brussels sprouts. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of lemon zest, then coarsely chop OR use a microplane. (You should have about 2 teaspoons chopped zest.)

In a large (preferably 12-inch) skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add the brussels sprouts, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, then arrange the brussels sprouts in an even layer, cut-side down. Scatter the lemon zest over the top and cook, undisturbed, until the brussels sprouts are well browned underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red-pepper flakes, stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high. Break up any gnocchi that are stuck together, add them to the pan and cook, covered and undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the butter and honey, season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the butter is golden, nutty smelling and foaming, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the brussels sprouts until warmed through. Serve with grated Parmesan.

Fresh Gnocchi

4 medium russet potatoes

1 teaspoon salt, plus more for the water

1 teaspoon pepper

1 egg

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, extra to dust

Add the potatoes to a large pot of cool salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce a potato. Drain the potatoes and set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm.

Using a peeler or your fingers, remove the skin from the potatoes. In a medium bowl, mash the potatoes until all lumps are gone. Add the salt and pepper and mix well. Make a well in the center of the potatoes and crack an egg into it. Whisk the eggs briefly. Then, using your hands, gently mix it into the potatoes until evenly distributed.

Put 1 cup of flour onto a clean surface and turn out the potato dough onto it, keeping the remaining ½ cup close by in case you need it. Working quickly and carefully, knead the dough, only incorporating as much flour as you need along the way until the dough loses stickiness and becomes more solid. Slice the dough into 4 parts. Roll out 1 part into a long rope, about 1 inch wide, cutting in half and working with 1 half at a time if the rope is becoming too long. Slice the rope into ½-inch squares and set aside on a lightly floured surface. Repeat with the remaining dough.

If desired, place a fork on your work surface and slide each gnocchi square from the base of the fork prongs to the top so they make a decorative shape.

Freeze on a baking sheet and then transfer to a container when set or cook right away.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the gnocchi in batches, stirring gently once or twice to ensure they are not sticking. Boil until they float to the surface; after another 15-30 seconds in the water, remove.

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