Grillin’ with the Guru – Gnocchi & Grilled Duck Breast 10-23

Guru Harvest Gnocchi

This is comfort food at its finest.  Homemade gnocchi bathed in a rich spinach and mushroom cream sauce topped with perfectly grilled duck breasts.

Gnocchi are Italian potato dumplings. They are very easy to make, cook quickly, and are little clouds of goodness. 

Gnocchi Basics

While simple to make and cook, there are some secrets to great gnocchi.

  • Use starchy potatoes like russet, or Yukon gold. Waxy potatoes such as red and new potatoes tend to make very heavy gnocchi.
  • Don’t overwork the dough.  This dough contains flour, and too much working will develop a lot of gluten, which makes for tough gnocchi. 
  • Boil them until they float +30 seconds.  Too long of a bath will waterlog your gnocchi.
  • Sauce them as soon as they are cooked.  Try not to let your gnocchi sit around after they are cooked.  They will start to get sticky and dense.  Straight into the sauce please. 
  • Use a potato ricer or food mill to produce the smoothest, and silkiest potatoes. 


  • 1-3 small  Russett potatoes
  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 large Egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Kosher salt 


  1. Place a large pot of water (1 gallon) with 2 tablespoons of salt over medium-high heat to boil.
  2. Make sure potatoes are very clean and place in boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until a paring knife penetrates with no resistance. 
  3. Remove and allow to cool until they can be handled. 
  4. Using your fingers, peel potatoes and cut into four pieces.
  5. Pass through ricer or food mill and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. On a floured surface place one cup of potatoes, one cup of flour, and salt.
  7. Press mixture flat and make a small well in the middle.
  8. Pour in egg and add ricotta cheese.
  9. Using your hands, fold mixture onto itself until a dough forms being careful not to over work.
  10. Press dough ball into a flattened disk about ½″ thick, then cut into 5-6 strips.
  11. Cut strips into 1″ pieces.
  12. Optional: Lightly roll each piece on the back of a floured fork to create ridges.  Be careful not to press too hard as the dough will be very soft. 
  13. Turn water up to a rolling boil and add about half of the gnocchi.  
  14. They will sink at first the rise to the surface once cooked. Allow them to cook for an additional 30-45 seconds then remove.
  15. Repeat the process for the remaining raw gnocchi.

Spinach and Mushroom Cream Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 medium White onion (chopped)
  • 3 cups Frozen spinach (defrosted)
  • 10 ounces Fresh button mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 cup Dry white wine (Chardonnay)
  • 1 quart Heavy cream
  • Louisiana Love Seasoning Blends to taste


  1. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
  2. Once hot and shimmering add onions, spinach, and mushrooms.
  3. Sauté stirring frequently until spinach has dried out, and mushrooms and onions are soft.
  4. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add wine, cooking until it mostly evaporates (3-5 minutes).
  6. Add cream and seasoning, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 7-10 minutes or until thickened. 
  7. Add gnocchi, taste, and adjust seasoning. 
  8. Serve immediately.

Grilled Duck Breasts



  1. Prepare a hardwood fire
  2. Season duck breasts well on all sides.
  3. Place over medium heat with the fat side down for about 5 minutes being careful to avoid flare ups.
  4. Turn to meat side over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until a temperature of 130˚  is read in the thickest part of the breast.
  5. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes under loose foil. 
  6. Slice and serve over gnocchi and sauce. 

Stay hungry.