Morel Goat Cheese Gnudi with Ramps and Morel Sauce

It's time for another recipe challenge by Marx Food.  In celebrating the fresh morel season, Marx Food decided to give out free samples of the dried morels to a few food bloggers to create an original recipe for a friendly competition.  As you may know, I love a good recipe challenge, and recipe testing is one of the reasons why I blog.  I enjoy playing with ingredients to create something delicious.  As a mushroom lover, I couldn't resist to get my hands on these.  I knew I need to compliment these dried morels with some fresh ingredients.  Spring offers many lovely ingredients, and one of my favorites is ramps.  They are delicious raw or cooked.  They pair well with the morels, so I definitely wanted to incorporate them into this recipe.
I originally wanted to stuff the morels with goat cheese, but as you can see the size of the mushrooms made it somewhat difficult.  So I thought to use the goat cheese with the mushrooms to make some gnudi.  Gnudi is basically the filling of a stuffed pasta without the pasta.  It's usually made with fresh ricotta cheese.  It is extremely easy to make.  Every home cook can make this dish without having to break out the pasta maker or break a sweat from kneading the dough.  The result is this pillowy mound of filling that just melt in your mouth.

Morel Goat Cheese Gnudi with Ramps and Morel Sauce - Makes approx. 12 Gnudi
8 oz of plain goat cheese (room temperature)
1 oz of dried morel mushrooms - Reconstitute with 1 1/2 cup of hot water - Diced (reserve water for sauce)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbs of all-purpose flour
2 tbs panko breadcrumbs
1 sprig of thyme - chopped

Ramps and Morel Sauce
1/4 pound of ramps - chopped (approx. 8 - 10 bulbs with leaves) - separate leaves from bulbs (save a tsp of the leaves for garnish)
1 cup of the mushroom water
1 tbs of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil for sauteing

Reconstitute the dried morels in 1 1/2 cup of hot boiling water.  Let it soak for at least 20 minutes.  Once the mushrooms are plumped up, strain the liquid and reserve for the sauce.  Make the sauce by sauteing the bulbs with a little olive oil until they are tendered and caramelized.  Add the ramp leaves then the mushroom water that is saturated with the morel flavor.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook the liquid down by half until thickens.  Puree the liquid, strain and set aside.

For the filling, saute the morels with a little bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Let the mushrooms sweat out their liquid and cook through (approximately 5-10 minutes) then add thyme.  Once they are done, let it cool.  Combine the morels with goat cheese, egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, flour and breadcrumbs in a bowl.  Mix all the ingredients together, taste then adjust with salt and pepper.  Roll a tablespoon of mixture into a ball similar to the size of a golf ball.  Bring a pot of water to boil.  Once the water is boiled, salt the water then add the gnudi one at a time.  When the gnudi float to the top which takes about 2-3 minutes, they are ready.  Heat the sauce then swirl in a tablespoon of cold butter to thicken the sauce.  Add the gnudi to the sauce, garnish with ramp leaves and serve immediately.

I love the morels and goat cheese flavor combination.  The gnudi has a tangy tartness from the goat cheese, and once it melts in your mouth, it leaves you with the smoky, earthy goodness of the morels.  The mushroom water added a depth of umami to the ramps sauce, and I wish everyone could try this sauce.  It is absolutely delicious, and did I mention it is so easy to make?!

Disclaimer:  I did not receive any compensation from Marx Food for this post.  All opinions are my own.

3 comments:

  1. This looks amazing! My boyfriend LOVES morels, unfortunately this year we haven't been able to get that many fresh ones here due to the funky weather. :( I may have to try the dried ones. I've used dried mushrooms before but never dried morels.

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  2. Those look really great! Good luck!

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