Weekends are the time for cooking something big or something slow. It’s also a time for experimenting. With any of these, you need time to do this. Since it’s a shoulder season and the days vacillate between warming weather and still-super cold days, we wanted to test-cook something Bettina just recently had during a quick trip to Berlin. While exploring the contemporary – and hipster – indoor food market, Markthalle IX (located in an historic rail station in Kreuzberg – and open Fridays and Saturdays only), what stood out was the bright, pink gnocchi from a young, German pasta artisan. There was no resisting it’s jewel-like charm. She and her girlfriend bought the equivalent of a pound and cooked it up later as a tasty appetizer tossed simply in good olive oil with freshly, grated parmigiano Reggiano. Stuffed with mascarpone and walnuts, these little pasta bites were amazing. They were airy – not heavy at all – and the wee filling was flavorful and interesting, but didn’t overpower or take away from the slight, rote bete (red beet) taste.
To get started, we’ve purchased all the ingredients we think we’ll need. We may substitute all-purpose flour with the lighter rice flour (found in Asian markets) for dredging and we’re hoping the recipe below can easily be stuffed with a tiny dollop of fresh mascarpone from our local Italian deli and toasted, finely-chopped walnuts. We’re looking forward to this cooking adventure.
Recipe: Red Beet Gnocchi
Here’s a video of the market.