1. Food

Eggplant Gnocchi -- Gnocchetti di Melanzane

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Eggplant Gnocchi, or Gnocchetti di Melanzane: Annina posted this the It.Hobby.Cucina newsgroup a couple of years ago, and observes that the gnocchi are tasty and as delicate as one can expect a gnocco to be. Also, that the scampi that go into the sauce should be fresh. To serve 6 will take 90 minutes.

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • For the Gnocchi:
  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) eggplant
  • 1 pound (500 g) boiling potatoes
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (250 g) flour, plus a little more for flowering your work surface
  • An egg
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • For the Sauce:
  • A scant pound (400 g) zucchini
  • 12 ounces (300 g) fresh jumbo shrimp tails, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • A little fresh oregano and thyme, finely minced
  • Parsley -- just the leaves
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Optional garnish: finely sliced grilled eggplant

Preparation:

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, score the flesh in a deep diagonal pattern, salt them, oil them, and bake them in a preheated 400 f (200 C) oven for about 20 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, crumble the mixture by hand, and heat it over a brisk flame in a non-stick pan to drive off excess moisture.

While the eggplant is baking and cooking, boil the potatoes, skin them, and rice them. Make a mound of the cooked-down eggplant, riced potatoes and flour on your work surface, and work the egg into it, together with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Make gnocchi 3/4 of an inch long and half that in diameter, and set them aside on a lightly floured surface while you prepare the sauce (set a pot of water to heat while you're at it).

Cut the zucchini into rounds, and sauté them in olive oil with the garlic, thyme and oregano. Cover and simmer the vegetables for 10 minutes; in the mean time the water should have come to a boil. Salt it and add the gnocchi, while adding the shrimp and fresh parsley to the zucchini. The gnocchi will rise to the surface as they become done; remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the sauce. Check seasoning and cook the gnocchi for a few minutes in the sauce, shifting them about in the pan by shaking it as if you were turning an omelet. Serve, garnishing the dish with finely sliced grilled eggplant if you want.

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