Gnocchi with Spicy Coconut Cream Sauce

IMG_0849Three is a beautiful number, even in cooking. Tonight I experimented with a new gnocchi idea: a fusion of Italian, Mexican and Thai cuisine and their resulting flavors of sweet, spicy, and creamy. From Italian cuisine, I made gnocchi as the starch. From Mexican, I used jalepenos, bell pepper, corn,  and green onions. And from Thai cuisine, I used coconut milk, lime juice, chili powder, coconut flakes, and basil. The result: a creamy, sweet, and tangy broth somewhat like curry only with hints of Mexican spiciness and a more prominent coconut flavor.

A few tips, based on observation: TASTE, TASTE, and TASTE the sauce before you even think about putting the gnocchi in boiling water. Gnocchi cooks in about two minutes, but it often takes longer than that to get the flavors balanced in a sauce like this one. It’s very easy to add too much lime juice, not enough salt, or to make it too spicy. Taste it until you stop thinking something is “off.” Also, let the coconut milk cook down some before you add the gnocchi. It’s better somewhat thickened and more cooking time will also help the flavors infuse together. And don’t ask me how to form gnocchi dough: I’ve never been able to make them look much better than lopsided lumps. I think at this point I’m satisfied enough if they taste right.

Here is a quick ingredient list (paired down to the essentials, as usual):

  • Jalapeno and red bell peppers, chopped
  • Corn
  • Coconut milk
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili powder
  • Sugar
  • Gnocchi
  • Fresh basil
  • Green onions
  • Unsweetened coconut chips





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