Gnocchi done right is a heavenly concoction and super-easy to make. PAT PILCHER reveals his Gnocchi secrets.
There’s something about Gnocchi that is just so utterly satisfying. The Gnocchi’s super-light and pillow texture can be incredibly satisfying and surprisingly filling too. Add a simple sauce to a plate of Gnocchi and the results are heavenly. Best of all Gnocchi is dead easy to make. Here’s how.
500g Agria potatoes
100g plain white flour plus extra for dusting
1x large egg
¼ teaspoon of Salt
Note: While Gnocchi is dead easy to make, you will need either a potato ricer or a mouli to get the texture of the potato right so that the Gnocchi is light and airy to eat. Most kitchen shops stock them.
2 dessert spoons of pine nuts (1 dessert spoon per serving)
1x onion (finely chopped)
2x cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1x tin of tomatoes in juice
1x Tablespoon Olive oil
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Wash and peel the potato
Cut the potato in quarters and place in a pot of salted boiling water
Cook until the potatoes are soft (check using a fork)
While the potatoes are cooking prep the sauce ingredients (see below)
Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and cover them with a tea towel so they dry out, set aside for at least 5 minutes
The potatoes should not be moist, nor should there be any steam rising from them
Place 3-4 pieces of potato in the ricer at a time and squeeze into a clean bowl until all the potatoes have been done.
Once all the potato has been put through the ricer/mouli set the bowl aside for 10-15 minutes for the potato to cool, giving it a light fluffing with a fork every few minutes to help with cooling
While the potatoes are cooling, start cooking the sauce
Once the potato is cooled, add the flour and gently stir through the potato using a fork
Add the egg and gently work the mix into a dough
Cut the potato dough mixture into 3 identically sized pieces
Dusting your workbench with flour, roll each piece into a long thin sausage (about 2cm in diameter)
Cut the sausages into 2cm chunks
Press the back of a fork gently into the top of the Gnocchi (so they can collect and hold sauce)
Place the Gnocchi in a pot of boiling water and scoop off when they float to the top using a slotted spoon.
In a hot pan roast the pine nuts (being careful not to let them burn), once they are starting to look shiny remove them from the pan and set aside in bowl
Add olive oil to a pan and heat
Add onions and stir until they start to go transparent and smell cooked
Add optional chilli flakes and stir through the onions
Add garlic and quickly stir through the onions
Add tin of tomatoes and gently simmer until the sauce has reduced slightly
Turn off the heat.
Stir a tablespoon of pasta water (the starch in the pasta water will help the sauce emulsify which will help it stick to the Gnocchi)
Add the Gnocchi to the sauce as they float to the top of the pot using a slotted spoon
Gently stir the sauce/Gnocchi to cover the Gnocchi.
Serve with roasted pine nuts, fresh parmesan cheese and black pepper