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A shallow white bowl with a serving of sweet pea gnocchi with pea cream sauce.

Sweet Pea Gnocchi with Tarragon Pea Cream

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (ColeyCooks.com)
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This recipe for Sweet Pea Gnocchi with Tarragon Pea Cream is elegant and beautiful to serve, not to mention it tastes amazing. It’s the perfect recipe to serve in spring. 


Ingredients

Scale

For the Pea Puree

  • 1 lb frozen peas
  • 4 scallions
  • 1tsp salt
  • zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tbsp)

For the Gnocchi

  • 2 lbs russet potatoes (can be slightly over 2 lbs, but no less)
  • 2 cups pea puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper to taste
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

For the Sauce

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed with the back of a knife
  • 1 large sprig of tarragon plus 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • white pepper to taste
  • Remaining pea puree – about 1 cup
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the Finished Dish

  • (optional)
  • Blanched fresh peas
  • Fresh pea tendrils
  • Lemon zest
  • minced chives and tarragon

Instructions

For the Pea Puree

  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it up to a boil and add a liberal amount of salt (it should taste like the ocean). While the water is heating up, get a bowl of ice water ready. When the water comes to a rolling boil, drop in the peas and the scallions and cook for 30 seconds. Immediately remove them to the ice bath. Reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water.
  2. When the peas and scallions have cooled completely, drain and add them to a blender along with the salt, lemon zest and half of the reserved cooking water. Blend on high until it’s completely smooth, adding a tiny bit more water if needed to help it blend. Run the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining bits of skin. Set aside.

To Make the Gnocchi

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, lightly oil the outside of the potatoes, and poke a few holes in the skins. Bake for about an hour, or until the potatoes are fork tender. While the potatoes are still hot, remove the flesh and process through a food mill or potato ricer. Place the riced potatoes into a bowl and form a well in the center. Add the pea puree and crack both eggs in the well along with the salt and pepper. Use a fork to gently whisk it all together and start bringing in the potato. Sprinkle the flour all around, and very delicately begin mixing. When the dough starts to come together, dump it out on to a board and use a gentle folding technique to knead it a few times. Be very careful not to overmix. If the dough is very wet, you can add more flour in 1 tablespoon increments to get it to come together. The finished dough should be fairly tacky. Once the dough is just formed, set it aside.
  2. Prepare two sheet pans with a piece of parchment paper, then dust with flour. Dust a large board or counter top with flour, and cut off a small piece of dough. Roll into a thin log, then use a knife or bench scraper to cut out the gnocchi. You can make them any size you want, but I prefer a larger gnocchi for this dish.
  3. Place the gnocchi on the prepared sheet pans, being careful not to let them touch. Let the gnocchi rest for about 20-40 minutes before cooking.

For the Sauce

  1. Heat the heavy cream, garlic, and tarragon sprig in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the cream reduces by half, about 10 minutes. It should nicely coat the back of a spoon. Remove the garlic and the tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and liberally season with salt (again – we want ocean water!). Working in batches of two or more, drop in the gnocchi and cook wait for them to float. Once they float, allow them to cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
  2. While the gnocchi are cooking, add the remaining pea puree, lemon juice and chopped tarragon to the sauce, stir and keep it over low heat. If it cooks too long or high, the sauce will turn from green to brown (but will still taste fine).
  3. Drain the gnocchi well, then add to the sauce and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon the gnocchi on to a plate and garnish with a few blanched peas, randomly placed pea tendrils, and a shower of lemon zest, chives and chopped tarragon. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The dough can be prepared in advance, shaped into gnocchi, frozen on sheet pans, and stored in plastic bags in the freezer. They can be cooked from frozen, but will take an additional 3 or so minutes to cook. Pea cream can also be frozen – just defrost before using it in the recipe.
  • This recipe can easily be cut in half.
  • Tarragon is my preferred herb in this recipe, but basil, mint, lemon thyme, or your favorite herb would work nicely as well.

Keywords: pea gnocchi, pea puree, potato gnocchi