Home Savory Eggplant Gnocchi

Eggplant Gnocchi

Difficulté : Easy
Catégorie : Savory
Cout : Low cost

I think of all the recipes I know, this is one of the most delicate in the mouth. These are not real gnocchi, but rather dumplings made of roasted eggplant, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese and small cubes of fried eggplant. They sit warm on a bed of sesame cream, with warm tomato petals, fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.  The whole thing is a kind of miracle recipe, which takes shape when all the ingredients are put together. The gnocchi melt in your mouth, and the textures are silky smooth and refined. I ate this dish in the AK restaurant in Sao Paulo. This dish is the brainchild of chef Andrea Kaufmann (hence the initials), but she closed her restaurant to open another one in another neighborhood. But in passing, she delivered the recipe of her favorite dish. 

You can prepare the gnocchi in advance, during the day (for dinner) and cook them. You can then heat them up in the microwave for a few seconds… This way, the dish will be served immediately to the guests!

Recipe for eggplant gnocchi for four people:

-5 tomatoes
-fresh basil leaves
300g of ready-made tahini (or see recipe below)
-olive oil
-320g of ricotta cheese (remove the juice, weigh only the ricotta)
-80g of grated fresh parmesan cheese
-40g of cornstarch
-200g of roasted eggplant (see below!)
-150g fried eggplant cubes (see below)

Start by putting one (a big one!) or two eggplants in the oven. Simply place the eggplant(s) on a baking sheet with aluminum foil to protect the dish. 

Turn the oven to the “broil” position and roast the eggplant, turning it from time to time. The skin will fry and even burn, but this is quite normal. The eggplant must be soft inside. The cooking time depends so much on the oven, that I don’t know how long it can take. We have to watch. 

Allow to cool completely before handling. Remove the flesh from the eggplant and place in a container. 

Crush the whole with a fork and weigh 200g of this eggplant puree. 

Add the ricotta (without the juice!!) and cornstarch. 

Grate the Parmesan cheese. 

It’s a lot of work for 80g but it’s worth it!

Grate the nutmeg. Add pepper but do not add salt!

Cut and weigh 150g of eggplant into small cubes. 

Put them with a little olive oil in a hot pan. 

And fry them so that they are golden brown. 

Let cool for a few moments on paper towels. 

Add to ricotta mixture. 

Mix well and let stand for at least one hour in a cool place (this will firm up the mixture and make it easier to shape the balls!) 

Take the dough and make between 20 and 25 balls by rolling them in the palms of your hands. 

Boil salted water, and plunge the gnocchi one by one. You have to do this or 3 times to not put too much gnocchi in the water! 

Note from Bernard:
gnocchi are fragile, so handle with care! 

When they come to the surface, it’s ready! 

Note from Bernard:
You can prepare the gnocchi in advance, during the day (for dinner) and cook them. You can then heat them up in the microwave for a few seconds… This way, the dish will be served immediately to the guests!

Bring water to a boil again, and scald the tomatoes for 20 to 30 seconds. 

If they cook a little, it’s not a big deal because they will be served hot. Peel them…

Cut them into quarters, and remove the inside with a knife (like for peppers). Wash to remove stubborn seeds and dry well in paper towels. 

 For the final assembly, warm the gnocchi in the microwave (unless you decide to cook them at the last minute!), so that they are hot, and warm the tomato petals in the same way. 
You can either buy tahina already prepared. Otherwise, just buy sesame cream.
To prepare the tahina, simply mix with a whisk:

-500ml sesame cream (also called tahina!!)
-the juice of two lemons
-200ml of water
-1/2 teaspoon salt

Arrange each plate with a bed of one or two tablespoons of tahina spread, (mine had a few herbs in it).

Add 5 tomato petals. (on the picture, there are only three, I know! But I was giving it a try! The recipe is for 5 petals and 6 gnocchi per person).

Five or six eggplant gnocchi and basil leaves.

 And serve with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately. 

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