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Gnocchi soffiati alla parigna
- Put the water, salt, nutmeg and 2 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, drop the flour into the mixture at once and mix quickly with a wooden spoon. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth mass that separates easily from the sides of the pan. Cook and stir for about 40 seconds longer to dry the mixture further.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, or you may want to use a regular bowl and mix with your hands. Let the mixture cool slightly, and then add half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1 of the eggs. Mix at low speed (or by hand) until the egg is incorporated. Add another egg and mix again, and then repeat with the third egg. At first the mixture will seem to separate, but keep mixing and eventually it will tighten up. Cover and let cool.
- Place 3 inches of salted water in a large saucepan and heat it over medium heat until there are several small bubbles rising around the edges (180°F). It shouldn’t boil completely; if the water is too hot the dumplings will cook too fast, which will cause them to expand and eventually (once baked) deflate. They should just poach and expand later in the oven when baked.
- Using 2 spoons to shape the dough or a pastry bag with a plain 1-inch tip, drop dumplings into the water; they should be 1 to 1 ½ inches long. Work close to the surface of the water so you don’t get splashed.
- Poach the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, about 3 minutes. Lift the gnocchi out with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of ice water to cool. They will sink to the bottom of the bowl when cool. Drain and use them right away or refrigerate for later use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch baking dishes and arrange the gnocchi in them so they have enough space to expand in the oven (they will almost double in size).
- Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano, drizzle 1 tablespoon melted butter on top, and bake until doubled in size and golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve the gnocchi right away, before they begin to deflate.