John Besh's Potato–Leek Mezzalune

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John Besh's Potato–Leek Mezzalune

Serving Size

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These half-moon raviolis are made from Basic Potato Gnocchi Dough which is easily rolled out and cut into rounds for wrappers for other stuffed pasta or dumplings. I vary the filling with the seasons, using about a half cup of sautéed greens, mushrooms, or squash—or even cheese.

—From Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing


Potato-Leek Mezzalune:
Makes about 25, serving 4
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Basic Potato Gnocchi Dough (see below)
  • 1⁄2 cup flour, plus more for rolling
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Basic Potato Gnocchi:
Makes about 50 gnocchi, serving 6
  • 1 pound medium
  • Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup flour, plus more for rolling
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt

Recipe Info

Potato-Leek Mezzalune:

  1. 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.

  1. 2. Prepare the Basic Potato Gnocchi dough through step 2, adding an additional 1⁄2 cup flour to the dough. Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add a bit more flour if the dough seems too sticky to roll.

  1. 3. Divide the dough into 2 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a large, thin sheet. Cut 4-inch rounds from the dough with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Gather the trimmed dough together and repeat until you’ve used all the dough. 

  1. 4. To form the mezzalune, put a spoonful of the leeks into the center of one dough round. Fold into a half-moon and press the edges firmly with your fingers to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds.

  1. 5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the mezzalune a few at a time. Once they have floated to the top, simmer for another 30 seconds. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium- high heat. With a slotted spoon, drain and transfer the mezzalune to the skillet. Gently sauté each side until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Basic Potato Gnocchi:

  1. 1. Put the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and, while they are still hot, pass through a food mill or potato ricer into a large bowl.

  1. 2. Add the egg yolks, flour, and nutmeg and season with salt. Working quickly and gently, combine the ingredients with your hands until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add a bit more flour if the dough feels too sticky. 

  1. **What’s really important is to handle the dough while the potatoes are still warm. That way the egg yolks will “cook” in the warm potato mixture, tightening the dough and reducing the amount of extra flour needed; because the more flour you add, the more dense the dumpling will become. It’s as simple as that!**

  1. 3. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface, pat gently and divide. One at a time, roll each part into a long rope about ¾ inch thick. Cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces. Dust with more flour and roll each piece over a ribbed gnocchi board or over the tines of a fork to make their signature ridges.

  1. 4. To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Drop in the gnocchi and once they float to the surface, cook for another 30 seconds. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon. If using immediately, add them to a pan with sauce. If you’re making them in advance, shock them in a bowl of ice water for a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon. Toss with a dash or two of oil, lay on a baking pan, and place in the freezer. When frozen, transfer to a resealable plastic bag and store in the freezer.

  1. If I can do it, so can you! Read more about my own cooking adventure with this dish. for more information!

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