Have you ever made homemade gnocchi? I am sure the cynics out there will say it’s way too time consuming and just buy a packet instead. Killjoys would be my response. Not only is it ridiculously straight forward and freezes really well but it is also great fun, especially if you get your children involved. Mine are on half term, so it was a perfect activity to do on a rainy morning. If you have ever made your own play dough then you will find making gnocchi super easy.
After gently boiling 1kg of potatoes in their skins until they are soft – under an hour, you peel them and then put them through the mouli when they are still hot and the skins now removed.
Mix the potato, pasta flour, egg and seasoning on a clean surface using your hands – now this is the fun bit!
It won’t take long before you will have created a large warm dough ball.
Split the dough into small balls and then roll out into long stripes. You want then to cut them up into bite sized morsels – see photos above and below.
Place the bite sized cubes onto a tray with greaseproof paper which is already scattered with semolina or flour. You can either freeze them like this on the tray and when they are frozen transfer into freezer bags. Equally if you are going to eat them immediately, prepare a pan of boiling water and then drop them into the water. When they rise to the top they are ready and you simply need to remove them with a slotted spoon.
There are so many combinations that are so tasty to eat with gnocchi. If you fancy a sausage and fennel ragu then see my recipe here. Today we decided to make some homemade basil pesto and then roast some cherry tomatoes in the oven for a short while.
A simple and most satisfying meal that is loved and cherished by the whole family. What sauces do you like to have with your gnocchi? Leave a comment below to let us all know.
40g fresh basil leaves
50g pine nuts
4 garlic cloves
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30g pecorino cheese
salt to taste
1. In a blender add all the ingredients and whizz for 30 seconds. Season to taste.
That easy !
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
250g cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Place the cherry tomatoes in a baking tray and pour the olive oil on top with a sprinkling of rock salt.
2. Place in an oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
1 kg floury potatoes (King Edwards, Maris Piper etc)
300g ’00’ pasta flour (you can get this in any supermarket)
1 tsp salt
few twists of black pepper
1. In a pan of boiling water add the potatoes, with the skins on – this will make them less watery – until they are soft. Depending on the size this will take under an hour.
2. Drain the water from the pan and using a fork and knife peel the skin from the hot potatoes and place them in the mouli one at a time. Turn the mouli handle around so that the potato goes through the mechanism.
3. Turn the potato out onto a clean surface and add the flour, egg, salt and pepper. Using your hands fold the ingredients into one another so that you form a compact dough ball.
4. Split the dough into smaller parts and roll into a long sausage using your hands, so that the dough is roughly 2cm thick.
5. Using a knife cut the dough sausage into bite sized cubes and place on a tray with baking paper scattered with either a little flour or semolina.
6. If you are freezing then place then in the freezer like this until they are frozen, then transfer to a freezer bag.
7. If using immediately then boil a large pan of water. Add a little salt and gently place the gnocchi in the water. When they rise to the top you can remove them from the water using a slotted spoon.
8. When they are still hot mix thoroughly with the basil pesto and place on a serving platter, sprinkled with the roasted tomatoes.
Serve immediately when hot.