Each time I think of a gnocchi, my mind immediately takes me back to Venice in 2012. My friend Cassandra and I fell in love with the pillow soft potato pasta dumpling after eating these with this Gorgonzola cream sauce. This is a pasta that we will never forget. A pasta consistency I have been trying to master since I left that splendid city–but I don’t quite have it yet. If you have never had a gnocchi, you are missing out! It is truly the perfect blend of potato and flour. Although I am a believer of all things homemade, today’s dish simply requests that you use a package of gnocchi. Making gnocchi from scratch is a pain to master, and quite frankly, is more of a winter endeavor or one made for a rainy day. Pre-packaged gnocchi are even better than typical pasta–it cooks in 2-3 minutes!
Crab and shrimp take the flavor of this dish to new heights, especially as the sauce’s base is almost Alfredo-like with heavy cream and parmigiana cheese. Feel free to switch up the seafood–add lobster or clams if you like! Seafood and cheese go really well together! I know it seems taboo, but they’re awesome together.
I made a similar dish about a year and a half ago; coincidentally, the same company I had then I am having other today! If you are looking for the same flavor profile with more lemon and added texture (the other version I’ve made of this has Panko bread crumbs), read my old post; it’s called Crab Meat Gnocchi with Melted Havarti and Gruyere.
This meal is great for a quick, romantic night in or as a side dish for company. It’s intimate enough for two, and it’s elegant enough for entertaining. Bon appetit!
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)
- 1 jumbo shallot finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of white wine (I used pinot grigio)
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1/2 of a fresh lemon (should be about 1/3 cup of lemon juice)
- 2 cups (approximately) of grated parmesan cheese
- 15 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (do not buy precooked shrimp)
- another 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 8 ounces of lump crab meat (I used 16 ounces thinking I love lump crab meat, but this is pricey and almost too much crab meat for the amount of pasta!)
- 1 pound of gnocchi
- parsley for garnish (fresh or dried)
- Fill a pot with salted water and bring to a boil.
- Insert pre-packaged gnocchi into boiling water. Cook about 2-3 minutes and stir. Gnocchi are done when they are floating on top.
- Drain gnocchi and pat dry with a paper towel. Keep aside.
- Use two tablespoons of butter to saute shrimp that are peeled and deveined. Add salt, pepper, and optional red pepper flakes to shrimp. Shrimp should be done in about 2-3 minutes (upon turning pink and no longer translucent–do not overcook!)
- Mince garlic and dice shallot.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and saute shallots for about 4-5 minutes at medium high heat. Stir to keep from burning. Add a bit of water if they are not sauteeing properly. Look for translucence in your shallots.
- Throw in the garlic after the shallots have been sauteed. Stir to keep garlic from burning. Cook garlic and shallots about 2-3 minutes until aromatic.
- To deglaze your pan, add 1 cup of white wine and stir shallots and garlic. Let it reduce a bit, and then had the other 1/2 cup. Once it reduces about halfway, add heavy cream and lower your heat to low. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
- Next, get a mesh strainer and scoop out the shallots. Press the shallots into the mesh strainer to drain all the liquid. There should be almost no shallots left in the sauce. You may need to squeeze the liquid in a new pan.
- Kick your heat back to a medium high with the drained liquid. Add your parmesan cheese. Squeeze in half the lemon, carefully not getting seeds inside. Stir frequently You may add more cream if you need it.
- Lower the heat the low. Add the crab meat and cooked shrimp. Stir together and let heat through for about 5 minutes. Tip: Make sure your crab meat is out of the refrigerator right before starting to cook so you don’t add cold crab meat to your hot pasta!