Don’t judge gnocchi on those ready made versions you find in the supermarkets. Gnocchi should be soft like little pillows not like hard rubber. I love gnocchi as once you have made them a few times they are quick and easy to turn out, definitely faster and easier than fresh pasta! Plus the toppings you can serve them with are endless – toss through some pesto, or make a creamy tomato sauce, saute some wild mushrooms with some butter and sage…..
I like to bake my potatoes. Some recipes will say steam or boil the potatoes but by roasting them you ensure they have as little moister as possible meaning less flour is needed.
1kg or aprox. 4 large floury potatoes, skin on (I used Agria)
Scrub potatoes and bake until soft in the centre. Allow to cool slightly but when they are still hot, peel and pass through a ricer (or alternatively mash).
Place potato on a floured surface and add an egg before mixing together. As you mix, slowly incorporate flour, about 1- 1/2 cups. You want to incorporate enough flour to make a firm dough, but not tough.
Divide the mix into smaller portions and roll out into thin sausages. Using a knife cut into 1 cm pieces and score with a fork, or if you have one a gnocchi paddle. The grooves help the gnocchi cling to the sauce.
To cook, bring large pot of salted water to the boil and add the gnocchi. This is best done in batches if cooking a lot. They are cooked when they float to the top, about 1-2 minutes.
Fresh Zucchini, tomato and basil sauce
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 zucchini, thinly sliced
2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
a handfull od fresh basil
dash of white wine
salt and pepper
Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic, zucchini and tomato. Cook for 3-5 minutes before adding a splash of wine and the fresh basil and continue to cook until the tomatoes have broken down – about another 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and toss the cooked gnocchi through before finishing with some grated Parmesan cheese.
Creamy Tomato Sauce
1kg Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Large handfull of basil
Avocado or Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Heat oil in a pan and add onion. Cook for a few minutes before adding the garlic, tomatoes and basil. After about 10 minutes add a glug of red wine and season. Continue to cook until the tomatoes have completely broken down. Remove from the heat and pass through a sieve. Return the sauce to the heat and stir through a dollop of creme fraiche before adding cooked gnocchi. Serve with freshly shaved Parmesan and fresh basil.