Nockerln (Little Dumplings) with Asparagus, White Beans, and Cave-Aged Cheese
|Prep time||45 minutes|
|Cooking time||30 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour, 15 minutes|
These little dumplings are Austrias answer to gnocchi. I have always found gnocchi tricky and time-consuming to make. These little dumplings taste just as good and are a cinch to make. I used to eat them all the time when I lived in Austria, where people particularly like them with a fresh, seasonal vegetable and grated cheese, and of course a nice salad on the side.
Beat 4 Tbs. of the softened butter and egg together until creamy. Stir in flour(s) and salt. Gradually stir in milk and blend well to form a firm but sticky dough (you may want to switch to your hands to make sure the ingredients are well blended).
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Using a small spoon, scoop up a teaspoon-sized amount of dough. Using a second small spoon, scrape the dough off the edge of the first spoon and into the salted water. Repeat, until you have used up all the dough. Turn the heat down to a simmer and place the lid on, partially covered. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain water from dumplings. Set dumplings aside.
In the meantime, wash and trim asparagus and slice into thirds. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 1-2 minutes, or until al dente. Strain and set asparagus aside.
Preheat oven to 400° F or set on “broil.”
In a large, oven-proof pan, heat remaining 3 Tbs. butter (or use 3-4 Tbs. combination butter and olive oil). Add minced garlic and asparagus. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add dumplings and gently stir until coated in oil. Add beans and gently stir again, until warmed through. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Sprinkle grated cheese on top until generously covered.
Place pan in oven and bake until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes on “broil” or a little longer at 400° F. Remove from oven, season with more black pepper, and serve while warm.