Johannesburg

What to cook - Gnocchi ai funghi by Pronto Italian restaurant and deli

20 Jul 2021
In our What to Cook series we ask some of our favourite Joburg chefs to share a recipe from their restaurants that you can try your hand at recreating at home. In this edition Natasha Maciel from Pronto Italian restaurant, foodstore and deli in Craighall Park shares her classic recipe for gnocchi ai funghi (gnocchi with mushrooms).

The much-awarded Pronto at the Colony Centre on Jan Smuts Avenue opened in 2004 and has long been a neighbourhood favourite for its superb service and flawless traditional Italian cuisine. In 2020 in the wake of the first lockdown, Pronto launched a deli at the restaurant selling high-quality ingredients and food items, from award-winning olive oil to pasta, cheeses, freshly baked breads and baked goods, sourced from small and specialist local suppliers and farmers. The deli is also complemented by an excellent online shop where you can buy Pronto's deli items, as well as homemade pastas and sauces ready to heat and eat at home.

We asked Natasha to share a classic recipe with us from the Pronto menu that is easy to recreate at home and she generously offered this Pronto favourite. 

Gnocchi ai funghi

This is a classic recipe from our restaurant that has been adjusted for making a very generous portion for one person. If cooking for you and your partner or the family you can multiply the recipe as according your needs.
Ingredients
20g butter
1g pureed garlic (this is about 1/6 of a teaspoon) 
25ml olive oil
85g fresh or frozen porcini sliced
45g fresh button mushrooms sliced
20g Italian Canned Funghi Mix - we buy this in large quantities for catering in our restaurant. For cooking at home try any can or bottle of mixed Italian mushrooms 
180ml cream
190g raw gnocchi
1 heaped teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon marsala (a sweet fortified wine from Sicily)
Salt and pepper

Method
1. Mix olive oil and butter with garlic in a saucepan on medium heat.
2. Add porcini with salt and pepper and stir until softened but not completely cooked – about 5 minutes.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add button mushrooms and parsley and toss for 2–3 minutes.
5. Add Ai Funghi canned mix and marsala – burn off the alcohol.
6. Add the cream and reduce by half before adding the cooked gnocchi.
7. Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water. It is very quick and will be done when the gnocchi floats to the top. If the gnocchi is cooked before the mushroom sauce is ready toss it in olive oil so that it doesn’t stick.

Buon Appetito from Natasha and The Pronto Team!

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