Serves: 4 - Time:
Gnocchi-especially the potato variety (let me tell you there are MANY varieties) have the reputation of being difficult to make but it’s more about knowing what the texture of the dough should be and not adding too much flour. For this reason I give a maximum quantity of flour to be used but I reckon on only using two-thirds of it. You may find you need more if, for example, you use a different variety of potato or your egg is slightly larger than mine. Anyway-you get the picture that it is a guideline. If you are unsure about the texture of your dough you can always do a cooking test with a couple of gnocchi before committing with the rest. The other thing to mention is the need for a potato ricer-which is an invaluable piece of kitchen equipment. A potato masher compacts the potato too much- you want light and fluffy spuds. Frying the cooked gnocchi is not traditional but it is how I like to eat them- I think it improves their taste and texture immeasurably.
- 950g Desirée potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
- Up to 200g Tipo 00 flour (this is flour used for pasta making)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- About one third of a whole nutmeg, grated
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 325g Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed
- 175g gorgonzola cheese
- 200ml double cream
- A knob of butter
- 50g lightly toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
- Put the potatoes in the basket of a steamer and steam for about 35 minutes until tender. While the potatoes are steaming prepare to make the gnocchi: Spread about two-thirds of the flour onto a clean work surface. Sprinkle over the salt and nutmeg. When the potatoes are cooked through leave for 2-3 minutes to cool a little then pass through a potato ricer, sprinkling the potato evenly over the flour. Pour the egg into the centre and, working lightly, bring everything together to form a smooth dough, adding more flour if necessary. Try not to knead the dough too much.
- Shape the dough into a rough square, about 2 ½ cm thick. Cut into six or seven strips, about 2cm thick. Roll each strip out to form a smooth sausage and cut into 2cm long cylinders.
- Heat the oven to fan 180˚c, mark 6. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Drop in the gnocchi-about 12-14 at a time. Stir once and leave the gnocchi until they float to the surface. Wait for a few seconds then lift out with a slotted spoon onto a tray lined with non-stick parchment. Repeat for the remaining gnocchi. Set aside while you roast the sprouts.
- Pour two tablespoons of the oil into a roasting tin. Cut the sprouts in half and toss in the oil. Season well with salt and ground black pepper. Roast the sprouts for 20 minutes until tender and browned. Transfer to an ovenproof serving dish and set aside while you fry the gnocchi and make the sauce.
- Put the gorgonzola and cream into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the cheese has melted. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil with a knob of butter in a large frying pan. Fry the gnocchi in a single layer, in batches, for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Add to the sprouts and mix. Pour over the cheese sauce and heat in the oven for 5-10 minutes until bubbling. Sprinkle over the walnuts before serving.