Gennaro’s Limoni: Vibrant Italian Recipes Celebrating the Lemon, written by Gennaro Contaldo. A few highlights include Insalata di Limoni d’Amalfi (Amalfi Lemon Salad), Mezzelune al Limone (Lemon and Ricotta-Filled Pasta), Risotto ai Gamberi e Limone (Shrimp and Lemon Risotto), Tiramisu al Limone (Lemon Tiramisu), and Marmellata di Limoni (Lemon Jam). I will also be sharing his recipe for Gnocchi al Limone (Lemon Gnocchi) following the review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Interlink Books in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Gennaro Contaldo is an acclaimed chef, food writer, restauranteur, and TV personality. He grew up in Minori on the Amalfi coast and started working in restaurants at the age of eight.
He was the co-host of the series Two Greedy Italians with Antonio Carluccio, regularly appeared on Saturday Kitchen, and is also the author of many other books including Gennaro’s Pasta Perfecto, Gennaro’s Fast Cook Italian, Passione, and Panetteria.
Gennaro begins Gennaro’s Limoni with a short introduction and how lemons are a part of his life and culture in his hometown of Minori on the Amalfi Coast. He even includes a bit of the history behind the Amalfi lemon, Sfusato Amalfitano.
The chapters are divided according to the following: Small Plates, Vegetables, Fish, Meat, Desserts, Drinks & Preserves, and Sauces & Dressings.
The photography is provided by David Loftus. Most of the recipes are paired with at least one full-page photo of the finished dish. There are also beautiful photos scattered across the pages of the landscape, people, and food from the region.
Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Titles are written in Italian and English. Each recipe has a headnote with background information, personal stories, serving size, and helpful tips.
Gnocchi al Limone (Lemon Gnocchi)
I have loved all the flavors so far in Gennaro’s Limoni, but the Gnocchi al Limone (Lemon Gnocchi) were a particular favorite.
Potatoes are boiled until tender, then mashed and combined with flour, egg, and lemon zest to create a light dough.
To serve, they are tossed in a light lemon butter sauce and sprinkled with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.
Boil the potatoes until completely tender to help create a smooth dough. Prick the thickest part of the potato with a fork to check if it is cooked through. This will take around 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.
Be careful not to overknead the dough or use too much flour while forming each individual piece of gnocco, because you want to keep that light texture.
I used a gnocchi board to form the distinct ridges, but the tines of a fork will also work.
I also made the Pizza al Limone con Salsiccia, Mozzarella e Rucola (Lemon-Infused Pizza with Sausage, Mozzarella, and Arugula); Frittata al Limone (Lemon Frittata); Agnello Pasquale con Uova e Limone (Easter Lamb with Eggs and Lemon); and Espresso con Buccia di Limone (Lemon Espresso).
I absolutely loved the combination of flavors in the Pizza al Limone con Salsiccia, Mozzarella e Rucola (Lemon-Infused Pizza with Sausage, Mozzarella, and Arugula). Lemon zest is mixed right into the homemade pizza dough, then topped with crumbled Italian sausage, arugula, fresh mozzarella, herbs, and even more lemon.
The Frittata al Limone (Lemon Frittata) is an easy and refreshing addition to brunch or a light lunch. Finely sliced red onions are infused with lemon, then cooked with the eggs until set.
The Agnello Pasquale con Uova e Limone (Easter Lamb with Eggs and Lemon) is such a comforting meal. Pieces of lamb are simmered until tender. Near the end of cooking, an egg lemon mixture is whisked in to create a creamy sauce.
The Espresso con Buccia di Limone (Lemon Espresso) is an incredibly easy option in the Drinks & Preserves chapter and we now enjoy it often. Simply make espresso with a small piece of lemon rind. It adds such a light and refreshing citrus flavor.
Gennaro’s Limoni is a great pick for those interested in Italian cuisine with a focus on the lemon. Recipes range from quick and easy meals to more intricate stews and desserts. There is a nice variety of vegetarian options, meat, seafood, pasta, and sweet treats.
Most of the ingredients are readily available in larger American grocery stores. A few items that may require an Italian specialty market include Scamorza cheese, risotto rice, fresh seafood, veal, and Savoiardi cookies.
Gnocchi al Limone (Lemon Gnocchi) Recipe
Excerpt from Gennaro’s Limoni
Gnocchi al Limone (Lemon Gnocchi)
- 2 1/4 pounds (1 kilogram) starchy potatoes
- 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg beaten
- zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon juice reserved for the sauce
- Rice flour for dusting
- Sea salt
For the sauce:
- 7 tablespoons (100 grams) butter
- 8 mint leaves left whole
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) grated Parmesan cheese plus extra to serve
- To make the gnocchi, boil the potatoes in their skins until cooked, drain, allow to cool slightly, then remove the skins and mash.
- Combine with the flour, egg, a little salt to taste, and half of the lemon zest.
- Mix until you obtain a soft dough. Sprinkle a little rice flour over a work surface and roll out the dough into long sausage shapes.
- Using a sharp knife, cut into roughly 3/4-inch (2 centimeter) lengths. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Drop the gnocchi into the water, in batches, and simmer for a minute or so until they rise to the top.
- Meanwhile, put the butter in a large frying pan with the mint leaves and lemon juice and melt over medium to low heat.
- Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add it to the butter sauce with a little of the cooking water.
- Cook for a minute or so until all the gnocchi are coated in the sauce, add the Parmesan, mix well, and serve immediately with extra Parmesan and the remaining lemon zest.