Passione by Gennaro ContaldoMarch 31, 2018 by Jenny
Genarro Contaldo is the Italian legend who
taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking and who
Jamie has affectionately started referring to as his London
Genarro was born just feet away from the sea on Italy’s stunning Amalfi coast. As a child, he was taught by his parents how to seek out wild food free-diving for oysters, foraging for wild mushrooms, and often missed school to go fishing.
This adventurous spirit lived on throughout Gennaro’s career in food as a chef, food writer, TV personality, and restaurateur. This was all reflected in this first, glorious collection of his favorite Italian recipes, Passione in 2003. Last year, Interlink Publishing reissued this beautiful book in the US under the title Passione: Simple, Seductive Recipes for Lovers of Italian Food (and in the UK Pavilion under the title, Gennaro’s Passione: The Classic Italian Cookery Book.)
This cookbook features photographs from Gennaro’s childhood,
alongside stunning food and travel photography. Over 100 recipes,
and delightful personal recollections, share the secrets of
Gennaro’s love affair with Italian food and will inspire cooks of
all abilities to taste the true flavors of the Italian
Stuffed beef rolls in tomato ragu, Stuffed fava bean cakes, and an Amalfi lemon tart are a few examples of the dishes herein. The Chicken bites wrapped in pancetta and sage with a cider vinegar dressing were easy and delicious. I have the Bread with salami, cheese and eggs on my must make list as well.
We are grateful to Interlink Publishing for sharing the recipe for Potato gnocchi with our members and for providing two copies of this book in our contest below to our US members. Special thanks to Pavilion for offering one copy to our members in the UK.
If you like potato gnocchi, these are a real treat. I have used asparagus as my filling, because I find it fresh and light, but you could use a variety of ingredients-peas, fava beans, mixed vegetables, meat, mushrooms … As long as the ingredients are very finely chopped, cooked, and mixed with a little grated Parmesan, you have a filling.
The sauce I have chosen is a classic butter and sage one, but I have added a few drops of balsamic vinegar to finish. I find the balsamic cuts the richness of the gnocchi and imparts a characteristic tangy flavor.
- 9 oz/250 g floury potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
- 1 cup and 2 tbsp/5 oz/150 g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2½ tbsp cornstarch
- 2 eggs
for the filling:
- 1 zucchini
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large scallion, finely chopped
- 4 large asparagus spears, peeled and finely chopped (tough ends discarded) salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup/60 ml water
- 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- for the sauce:
- 4 tbsp/2 oz/50 g butter
- a handful of fresh sage leaves
- 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Place the unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender. Keeping the potatoes whole like this means they don’t absorb water; if you prefer, you can bake them in the oven.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the filling. Prepare the zucchini (see page 60) and then chop the green part very finely. Heat the olive oil in a small pan, add the scallion, and sweat until softened. Then add the asparagus and zucchini, and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, add the water, and simmer for a few minutes, until the vegetables are tender but still a little crunchy. Place the filling mixture in a bowl, leave to cool, and then stir in the Parmesan.
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and leave to cool. Peel and discard the skin and mash the potatoes (preferably using a potato ricer, or “Italian masher,” since this gives a much smoother mash).
Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl with the flour and cornstarch. Add the eggs and some salt and mix well until you get a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Place on a floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a thin sheet about 1 /s in/ 3 mm thick. Cut into rounds with a 2 in/5 cm pastry cutter. Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the center of half of the rounds. Cover with the remaining rounds and press down the edges with your fingers to seal. Re-roll the trimmings to make more gnocchi.
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and drop in the gnocchi. At first, they will sink; as they come up to the surface, cook for a further 2 minutes (remember these are filled gnocchi and much thicker than normal ones, so they need a little longer to cook through).
Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, add the sage leaves, and mix in the Parmesan. As the gnocchi are done, drain and place in the butter sauce. Mix together well. Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the top and serve.
The publisher is offering two copies of this book to EYB Members in the US and one copy in the UK. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.
Which recipe in the index would you try first?
Please note that you must be logged
into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be
counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure
to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications.
Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you
are not already a Member, you can
join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on May
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