La Strada Dolci e Caffé welcomes special Italian guest chef

La Strada Dolci e Caffé, an authentic European-style café, is welcoming a special guest chef this week. You can catch special, limited-time-only dishes from Italian chef Francesco Straface through March 9. 

He joined us in the FOX 2 Cooking School, along with Chef La Strada Dolci e Caffe owner and chef Zharko Palushaj, to tell us more about the food. You can hear more from them in the video player above, and get their gnocchi recipe below. 

Dishes will include Carpaccio di Pesce Spada, Tuna al Prosciutto, and Octopus Catalan Salad, along with other La Strada favorites, like the Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Margherita Pizza, and an assortment of sweet and savory pastries - all made fresh daily. 

14 oz. flour 
8 asparagus 
12 cherry tomatoes
7 oz. spring mix salad
4 oz. fresh basil
16 fl. oz.    Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Wine vinegar        
2 tbsp salt
16 oz. ricotta
1 small egg
6 oz. Pecorino Romana
½ white onion    
Thyme to taste

Directions for the Ricotta Gnocchi
1. Sift the ricotta into a large bowl, mixing it with flour, egg end pecorino cheese.
2. Season with salt and transfer the resulting dough to a work surface.
3. Roll the dough to a thickness of 1/2 in.

Directions for the Basil Sauce

1. Put the basil in a blender together with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and salt. 
2. Blend until the sauce becomes thick.

Additional Directions:

1. Boil the gnocchi in a large pot, with an abundant salted water
2. When the gnocchi rise to the surface, drain and cool immediately in cold water. 
3. Drain well and put the gnocchi in a bowl. Season with 4 spoonsful of basil sauce and a pinch of fresh thyme.
4. Finely cut the raw asparagus and cut the sliced onion and the tomatoes into four parts.  Place the vegetable mixture in another bowl and season with salt, vinegar and remaining basil sauce.
5. Lastly, put the mixed salad on a large plate, with the gnocchi on top and above all other ingredients.

Note: this particular type of salad does not need to be mixed and takes on the appearance of a first course.