I don’t know about you, but NYE is a tad overrated. I spent years (as in most of my adult life) in the restaurant industry celebrating the New Year with strangers and staff. I was the hostess with the mostess. Always serving others and making it look seamless and joyful while inside all I wanted to be doing was celebrating with my loves. By the time I left the restaurant the party would be over or everyone would be so shit-faced I wouldn’t want to be there anyway. So for the past 5 years since I’ve been out of the restaurant I have wanted to keep things low key (with the exception of one year that we got dolled up and went to a fancy hotel and had someone do for me, what I did for years).
Seeing as the mister and I were going to be cozy and alone for NY I thought why not splurge a little and spoil ourselves with something decadent? All the years I spent slicing (drooling) truffles over peoples risottos and pastas and I had never done it for myself. That had to change and change it did! Truffles are tubers that grow underground at the base of trees. They grow all over the world and are among the most expensive food finds in the world. Truffle “dealers” are a small and mysterious bunch with highly trained dogs (used to be pigs and boars but that was extremely dangerous) and have almost a cult-like following. Truffles can go for thousands of dollars a pound and can be traded like gold. My little black truffle cost me $90 and I used the entire thing for 2 plates of gnocchi. Worth every penny.
You can buy white or black truffles. The white ones tend to be a whole lot more expensive than the black and are much more perfumey. They are a thing of beauty but if you can only find the black, you’ll be just fine. My mister isn’t a huge truffle fan which might make you wonder, why in the heck is she spending all that money if he’s not even a lover? Turns out he only thought he wasn’t a fan. Foods like truffles can be overpowering if done excessively. Truffle oil is much stronger than the tuber and if not careful, too much could ruin your dish. I think Rick had fallen prey to a heavy handed chef or 2 because he loved this gnocchi (and the risotto I made recently with truffle oil).
The cream sauce for this pasta is the same base as all my cream sauces. Yes, you guessed it.. CASHEWS. Cashews are key to making this sauce super rich and creamy. I have had many people with tree nut allergies ask if there is a substitute and while I have yet to try, I THINK sunflower seeds would work in a pinch.
I have made homemade gnocchi in the past and eventually I will post a recipe, but for this one I kept it simple and used gluten-free store bought gnocchi. It was delicious and quick and sometimes (all the time) that’s just what the doctor ordered.