So there’s this absolutely amazing little Italian restaurant in East London (Zone 2, don’t worry) called Il Bordello www.ilbordello.com/ (it means “the prostitute”, randomly). It’s in an area called Wapping, and is one of London’s best kept secrets; the food is stellar, the service is professional, efficient, and still warm and friendly, and the place attracts artists, celebrities, and awesome locals. They sit you down after a warm welcome, and the recite to you the list of specials. The waiters are all Italian, and it sounds like music… I digress. They have a dish called Gnocchi Quattro Formaggi (Four Cheese Gnocchi, for those of you with that little language awareness), and would add smoked salmon at my request. The dish was one of my favourites of life, so upon my return to Canada I was determined to recreate it to the best of my ability. Enjoy!
Smoked Salmon Gnocchi (serves two, with lunch for one)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 1/4 cup thickened cream
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp dill weed
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella
- 1/4 cup Parmesan
- 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
- 100 grams smoked salmon, sliced into ribbons
- 500 grams gnocchi (I used a 98% fat free, wholemeal, and I think it was the best I’ve ever had)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Make gnocchi as per directions on package, strain & reserve 1/2 cup water. Set aside (I coat lightly with olive oil to keep it from sticking together too much).
Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sautee until clear and fragrant. Add cream cheese and cream until heated throughout, whisk together. Add paprika, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, dill weed, grainy mustard, stir thoroughly. Simmer for 10 min. Stir in mozzarella and half of the parmesan (the other half will be reserved for garnish). Add reserved gnocchi water if sauce thickens too much. Stir in spinach, then smoked salmon. Heat briefly, maybe a minute or two, you don’t want the salmon to cook! TRUST ME!!
Stir in gnocchi until completely coated with sauce. Plate and garnish with remaining parmesan.
Wine Pairing: NOT Pinot Noir haha. I didn’t have any white chilled, so this what what we went with. Fail. I’d ideally pair with an oaky Chardonnay.