Jalapeno Corn Gnocchi with Crispy Panchetta

 

Doesn’t that look delicious?!  Colourful, flavorful and a perfect fusion of my two favorite cuisines: Mexican and Italian.

What a weird combo right?  One of the more frequent questions asked whenever I do an interview: “What is your favorite type of cuisine to cook?”  My answer always sounds strange as I reply, “Mexican and Italian.” There are a number of reasons why I love these two. I was raised on both.  My father was raised down south and Mexico was a place we frequently visited.  His great-grandmother was making Mexican dishes passed down for generation. Conversely, my mother was raised in Europe where Italian food comes in abundance.  Being raised in Europe also gave me the ability to camp in Italy for summer vacations and eat massive amounts of carbs!  I literally got the best of both worlds growing up.

They are two completely different cuisines but, to me, they also have so many similarities:

To start, they are both about flavor and, if you know me, you know that my nickname is “The Flavor Queen.”

Second, they both utilize lots of cheese which gets a big ‘HELL YA’ from me. From Queso and Goat Cheese to Parmigiano Reggiano and Mozzarella, there is no lack of cheese at the table. Shouldn’t that  be enough to make these two cuisines a favorite for everyone?

Last, both Italian and Mexican cuisine loves spice. And I LOVE spicy food.  Add in the reliance on fresh ingredients and overall simplicity and you have yourself two amazing countries with amazingly similar ideas on food.

So, of course, when I made this recipe on a whim it was no wonder it ended up with a blend of both Mexican and Italian. What’s more, this dish has now become one of my signature dishes.

I’ve kept this one dear to my heart for a long time despite many requests for the recipe.  However, time has taught me that great things need to be shared so here it is!

Print Recipe
Jalapeno Corn Gnocchi with Crispy Panchetta
Servings
people
Ingredients
Gnocchi
Jalapeno Corn Sauce
Quick Pickled Veg
Other
Servings
people
Ingredients
Gnocchi
Jalapeno Corn Sauce
Quick Pickled Veg
Other

 

Directions

Place diced pancetta into a medium pan on medium heat.  Cook until nice and crispy (about 8 minutes).  Place on a paper towel, pat down excess oil and set aside.

For the Gnocchi

In a large pot of boiling water, add peeled potatoes and boil for 25 minutes or until you can poke a fork easily into the potato. Drain potatoes and allow to cool completely.

In a large bowl, mash potatoes (with either a ricer or old school way) and add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Make sure the potatoes are mashed well and there are no lumps.

In a small bowl, whisk eggs.

Place mashed potatoes on a flat surface and make a well.  Add eggs and slowly incorporate into the mashed potatoes. Mix until fully incorporated.

Slowly incorporate amounts of flour while kneading until dough losses it’s stickiness.  Form into a ball and cut into quarters.  Take a quarter and roll into a rope. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside until ready to cook.

For the Sauce 

Heat a large sauce pan or pot on medium. Add 1 tablespoon of oil then add diced jalapeno, garlic, and onion. Add paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper.  Cook until onion is translucent and jalapeno has a bit of char.  Add corn and cook down for another 5-10 minutes. Place mixture into blender and puree while slowly adding olive oil (you can also use a immersion blender).  Place through a sieve  and transfer back into pot. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside until ready to serve.

For the quick pickle

Add sugar and vinegar into a small pot on medium high heat and allow to boil.  Add carrot, serrano, and radish in a sealable container.  Once mixture starts to boil, pour into sealable container with veggies.   Place in a refrigerator and allow to “pickle” minimum 30-45minutes.  The longer, the better.

Lime Peashoot Salad

In a medium bowl add lime juice and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well.  Ensure you make this at the last minute to prevent the peashoots from wilting.

To Serve

Place a large pot filled with water and a good loving of salt on medium high heat.  Once water has come to a rolling boil place gnocchi into the water and cook until the gnocchi float to the surface.  Meanwhile, in a large pan on medium heat, add 1.5 tablespoons of butter. Allow butter to melt. Once gnocchi is finished cooking, transfer into pan and lightly fry until golden brown.

Place sauce at the bottom of desired bowl. Add gnocchi in a small pile and top with pickled vegetables and pancetta.

 

 

Tips:

  • Rule of thumb is about 1 medium potato per person and 1/2 cup of flour per potato. Make sure you do not add too much flour or your gnocchi will become too dense.
  • Make this vegetarian by removing the pancetta and swapping out the chicken broth with vegetable broth.