Cooking with Grace, Good Food, Recipes

Cooking with Grace: Gnocchi Sardi Pasta with Smoked Whitefish

Welcome to Cooking with Grace! This is where Grace Singleton, a managing partner at the Deli, shares her favorite products and delectable home cooking tips with us. This week, she’s making pasta!

One of the benefits and responsibilities of my job is to test product samples. I recently had the chance to test out a new Italian pasta sample that we received, and had a few random things in my refrigerator that I wanted to use up. (Yes, I had a whole whitefish in my crisper that I didn’t have a plan for…and the remaining jar of piquillos from a post I did a few weeks ago). The smokiness of the fish, combined with a light cream sauce and fresh asparagus, made a pretty and delicious meal.

This pasta is traditionally made, using bronze dyes to make the shape—it’s 100 percent Italian grown semolina flour and has the IGP (Indication of Geographic Protection) seal on the label. The gnocchi sardi shape is one we don’t currently stock at the Deli, and I liked the small size (less than 3/4″ in length). I also liked how all the ridges held onto the sauce and were easy to eat. We’re talking to the producer and distributor, so if all goes well you may see this on our shelves sometime in the coming year. Until then experiment with other pasta shapes—a similar size would be the orchiette, though it has a flatter and more open rounded shape.

Ingredient for this dish:
1/2 package pasta
olive oil
1 bunch asparagus cut into 1 & 1/2″-2″ pieces
1/2 medium- large onion 1/2″ dice
4-6 cloves fresh garlic-1/2″ dice
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley & thyme were used but feel free to substitute others)- save some for garnish
4-6 piquillo peppers 1/4-1/2″ dice
1 cup smoked whitefish broken into 1″ pieces (if you buy a whole whitefish this is the yield from a 1.25 lb fish after removing the skin and taking the meat off the bones)
1 cup Calder cream top milk (if not using cream top milk, you may want to use a mix of half & half and whole milk to have a richer mouth feel)
zest and  juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup pasta water
salt & pepper to taste

Serves 3-4, depending on hunger levels!

Bring salted water to boil for the pasta. Before draining the pasta, be sure to save a cup of the cooking water to use later in the dish.

In another pan, saute the onions in olive oil until translucent, add garlic and asparagus, and cook until asparagus is just cooked through. Add the milk, the fresh herbs, the drained cooked pasta, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Keep this over low to medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Add piquillos, smoked whitefish, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine and taste for salt and pepper. If the consistency is too thick, add more pasta water as needed.

Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh herbs and enjoy!