Giada's mascarpone and lemon gnocchi, cherry tart

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis is cooking up some delicious dishes at the 12th annual Food Network Wine and Food Festival. Here, she makes mascarpone and lemon gnocchi paired with a cherry and chocolate tart for dessert.

Mascarpone and lemon gnocchi
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  • For gnocchi:

    • 1 cup (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (please use Formaggi Ciresa mascarpone cheese)
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Zest of 2 large lemons
    • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for forming the gnocchi
  • For sauce:

    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Baking Directions:

For the gnocchi: In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese and salt. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup flour until the mixture becomes a soft dough.Sprinkle a pie pan or rimmed baking sheet with flour. Using 2 small spoons, drop teaspoon-sized pieces of dough onto the pie pan. Shake the pan gently to cover the dough with flour. Gently roll the pieces of dough into oval shapes.Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer. In batches, carefully add the gnocchi.  The gnocchi should sink and then float to the top. As soon as the gnocchi begin to float, cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.For the sauce: In a small saucepan, warm the oil and salt over medium-high heat for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.Add the sauce and cheese to the gnocchi and gently toss until coated.

Cherry and chocolate tart
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    • Butter for greasing the pan
  • For crust:

    • 8 (4 1/2-inch-long) plain or almond biscotti cookies (5 1/2 ounces), coarsely broken
    • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, chilled
    • 1/4 packed cup dark brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup cherry preserves or jam, such as Bonne Maman
  • For filling:

    • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, recommended Ghiradelli
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
    • 3/4 cup chopped, shelled pistachio nuts


Baking Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.For the crust: In a processor, combine the biscotti, butter and sugar. Blend until the mixture forms moist crumbs that stick together when pressed. Firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until golden and it feels firm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Spread the cherry preserve over the cooled crust leaving a 1/2 to 1-inch border.For the filling: Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat to just below a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the dried cherries and 1/2 cup pistachios. Pour the chocolate filling over the cherry preserves and sprinkle the remaining pistachios on top. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight. Loosen the tart from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the edge. Unmold the tart and transfer to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.


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