Mmmm. The smell and taste of this dish is intoxicating—and you don’t need to order it in from your local upscale cafe and then hide the evidence. Don’t be intimidated by the name of this recipe. With a few simple steps you can serve a restaurant-quality dish that is sure to impress your guests. The gnocchi can be frozen before the boiling step and boiled fresh right before serving. The sauce can be prepared up to three days in advance and tossed with the gnocchi right before showtime.

4 large potatoes
2 cups of flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon salt

1. Peel potatoes and boil in a 4-quart pot in salted water until tender.
2. Drain and mash using a potato ricer. Place into a large bowl and add flour, egg, oil and salt and mix together.
3. Roll out into long ropes, 1 ½” wide, on a floured board. Cut into 1 ½” pieces. (At this point the gnocchi can be frozen.)
4. Drop into a 4-quart pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes or until they float to the top. Continue to cook 5 minutes longer. Drain in a colander and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to cool.
5. Toss with mushroom sauce right before serving. Garnish with sautéed mushroom and fresh thyme.

Wild mushroom cream sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds wild mushrooms (baby bella, shiitake), cleaned, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
1 pint heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1. In a large frying pan heat the butter
and oil.
2. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until the mushrooms have softened, about 8 minutes.
3. Remove ½ cup of mushrooms and reserve for garnish.
4. Add the heavy cream and garlic and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and add the seasonings.
5. Simmer until the sauce begins to thicken and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from heat and add the Parmesan cheese.
6. Add the gnocchi and toss until the gnocchi is fully coated. Serve immediately with reserved mushrooms and fresh thyme.

Note: For a lighter version substitute heavy cream with Devash Half ‘n Half.

For more great recipes, check out this weeks issue of Whisk by Ami