The backstory for this recipe is, admittedly, lame. I basically tore a recipe from a newspaper. Despite my home economics degree and decades-long food career, I don’t create many original recipes. My collection is pretty much everyone else’s work that I have tweaked to suit our tastes. What I’m good at is feeding Larry, someone who likes what he likes. And he likes mushrooms, just not necessarily in fancy-pants concoctions.
This year we vacationed in Southern Africa. Boarding our flight in Johannesburg, I picked up a copy of the Financial Times (that pink international paper that’s a tough read when your head is on holiday). Odd but fortuitous, this edition had a recipe article, “Gnoc, Gnoc, Gnocchi on Heaven’s Door.” Homemade gnocchi with Mushroom Ragu. I tore it out, tucked it away.
Back home, I checked with Larry. “You like gnocchi, right?” “Not particularly.” Dang. So I studied the recipe and figured out a few adjustments ‘cuz I was NOT going to abandon this inspiration, or the story behind it. One idea was to add prosciutto. Another was to switch the starch to bowtie pasta because the shape would hold this heavy ragu topping, and is a satisfying mouthful o’ pasta. The original recipe called for FOUR types of mushrooms, but I decided two– white button and crimini – were fine and would balance well. Larry ate two portions, score! The recipe was just right to submit to the Mushroom Channel cooking website to share with mushroom lovers everywhere, so they posted it right here.
PS – that wooden spoon in my photo? I bartered my Nike shoes at a crafts market in Zimbabwe for a lovely collection of eight. Pretty good trade, I think.
Special thanks to The Kitchn for featuring my post and photo here on their wonderful blog.