I have always been a fan of gnocchi. A tasty little dumpling made with potato and infamous for being stodgy and bland. Yet if you hand make gnocchi in the traditional italian way you will be amazed at the results. Which may I say are absolutely nothing like the frightening little balls of preservatives and stodge that they sell in the fresh pasta section and aisles of the commercial supermarket. The method is quite simple, so simple I attempted making these on a Monday night, it was quick and succesful. I am addicted to cans of italian Cherry tomatoes at the moment. They are so luxuriously delicious and really add the x factor to what ever I add them to. I used a can of these to make an excellent sauce to accompany my gnocchi .
This recipe came from Tana Ramseys cookbook – Home made (I have made a few alterations to the original text)
- Floury Potatoes I used Agria, peeled and cut into even-sized pieces
- 200g flour plus extra for dusting
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 50g Parmesan cheese, finely grated
For the Tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- can of cherry tomatoes in juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 small handful of fresh basil, roughly torn
- salt & black pepper
Serves:4 – Prep time:15 minutes – Cooking Time:35 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling
- Steam the potatoes for 20-25 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, lightly flour a baking tray.
- Remove the potatoes from the steamer and place in a large mixing bowl. Tip in the flour, eggs and parmesan and mash together well using a hand-held mixer or I used my polish potato mouli (like a giant garlic press but presses potatoes into fluffy mash). Season this with salt. Tip: do not mash these in a food processor it will turn your potatoes to glue.
- Using well-flavoured hands, divide the mixture into flour equal portions. One at a time, using your floured hands, roll out each portion on a floured surface into a sausage shape measuring about 2.5cm/1 inch in diameter. Cut each sausage into slices about 1.5cm/5/8 inchs thick. Keep flouring your hands and the knife as you work. Push down each side of the gnocchi on the back of a grater or I used a fork to make an indentation.Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes or more before cooking.
- Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, just long enough to flavour the oil, take care not to burn the garlic. Remove the garlic from the pan and discard. Add the canned tomatoes and cook over a gentle heat until they begin to soften and split. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving you can add the basil or use the basil to garnish the top of the dish as I did.
- Cook the gnocchi in small batches, adding them to already well salted boiling water. As the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a warmed plate to drain. Divide between four bowls and serve with the tomato sauce.