Villa Valentina's potato gnocchi

Villa Valentina's potato gnocchi

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(4 ratings)

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Cooking time

Takes 2 hours

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Serves 6

Authentic, light-as-a-feather gnocchi from Italy

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per gnocchi serving

kcalories
554
protein
17g
carbs
97g
fat
13g
saturates
5g
fibre
6g
sugar
0g
salt
0.37g

Ingredients

  • 1kg floury potatoes, Marfona are best but you can use King Edward
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 300g plain flour or less, depending on the texture of the potatoes

For the sauce

  • 300g ripe tomatoes
  • about 30 sage leaves
  • melted butter, a grating of black pepper and parmesan to serve

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Method

  1. Cook the potaotes and lower them whole in their skins into a pan of salted boiling water, bring back to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until just soft. Test with a sharp knife – you should have to push the knife in, it should not slide in easily, otherwise the potatoes will be overcooked and mushy and will have absorbed too much water. Peel them quickly, as the cooler they get, the less fluffy they become.Hold them in a tea towel to peel as they are hot.
  2. Using a mouli on a medium setting, press the potatoes into a bowl. Pass the potato through the mouli a second time, letting it fall on to the work surface. This second pressing is to make sure that the mixture is lump free, and also lets more air in. If you don’t have a mouli, you could use a potato ricer, but only if it has small holes, and you may need to push the potatoes through three times to get the right texture.
  3. Make a hollow in your pile of potatoes, then pour in the egg and sprinkle over some of the flour. Start to blend everything with your hands, adding more flour but as little as you can get away with (you want the flavour of the potato to come through, rather than that of the flour).Work carefully and quickly, as the more you handle the dough, the harder and bouncier it will become. You need the same lightness you would use for pastry.
  4. You should now have a soft dough that holds together, doesn’t feel sticky and can be easily shaped. Before you progress, check the dough by cooking a few gnocchi to see how they perform (see Valentina’s tip, right).
  5. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll a piece at a time into long, thumb-nail thick cylinders on a lightly floured surface, again working lightly and quickly. As you roll you will also be gently stretching the dough. Keep the surface well floured as you don’t want the gnocchi to stick.
  6. Cut the dough into thumb-nail long lengths. Some people don’t bother to shape and pattern them, but just cook them as they are. However, the shaping and patterning gives a hollow on one side and a pattern on the other that enables the sauce to cling better, and also makes each piece recognisable as a gnocco (a single gnocchi).
  7. Roll the gnocchi in a little flour. Holding them very lightly, form each into a small concave gnocchi shape: hold them against the prongs of the back of a fork, pressing only firmly enough to get the imprint (not so firmly that they go through the prongs), then guide each one so it tumbles away from the fork. Use your thumb as a guide and your fingers to pick and curl the gnocchi up. Spread them on a large board until required.
  8. Bring a large, deep pot of salted water to the boil. Working with a few at a time (don't cook more than you can cope with at once, see tip, right), drop in the gnocchi and listen for the wonderful kissing noise they make as they go in. Let them cook for 2 minutes, during which time they will bob back up to the surface, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Taste - they should be sofficí e leggeri (soft and light), the gnocchi equivalent of al dente.
  9. For the tomato sauce, deseed and finely chop the tomatoes. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a frying pan. Rub about 30 sage leaves in your hand to release the flavour, then fry for a few seconds until they darken slightly. Lift out and drain on paper towel. For each person put 20 gnocchi in a bowl and scatter over the tomatoes and sage. Drizzle over a little melted butter, then finish with a grating of black pepper and a sprinkling of finely grated parmesan.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2002

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Comments

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mishall22's picture

I made this dish but unfortunately didn't successful. The taste was not like i was expecting. I went to Perth, Scotland and tried The Manzil restaurant. Although it is famous for Indian food but the dish Valentina's potato gnocchi also very good in taste. I must say that it is one of best restaurants in Perth.

Hickman121's picture

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velobeat's picture
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Great recipe, had to make these after seeing them made on masterchef! Didn't have a ricer but used a sieve instead and pressed the potato through it with a spoon and they were very fluffy.

vivaves's picture
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Well, despite my best efforts to mess this up, I was very pleased with my gnocchi! They had gone a bit 'gluey' in the fridge overnight, so I was a little concerned how they'd cook, but they were light and fluffy and delectable - much nicer than the packet ones you can buy. I didn't do the sage and tomato sauce here, but made a roast tomato, red pepper and garlic sauce, and crumbled over some feta cheese and fresh basil leaves. It was an absolutely gorgeous meal, well worth the effort. I will be making these gnocchi again, but will make sure my potatoes are properly cooked first time in future!

vivaves's picture
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Well, I've had a go at making these today! Will reserve my final judgement on the recipe until I've actually cooked and eaten them, but the making was a little problematic! I didn't boil the potatoes long enough and they were an absolute nightmare to try and get through the ricer (don't have a mouli) so I ended up having to abandon the idea of gnocchi for tonight's meal in favour of something easier. I have since microwaved the (same) potatoes for longer and riced them (messy job, much swearing) and have made the dough and shaped the gnocchi (this bit WAS fun, granted). I am leaving them uncooked in the fridge, on a tray and covered with kitchen paper, in the hope that we can eat them for tomorrow's meal instead. So, my incompetence notwithstanding, will update tomorrow on the final verdict.

veggiesara's picture
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Interesting instructions for cooking these 'drop in the gnocchi and listen for the wonderful kissing noise they make as they go in' lol! Excellent recipe. I usually spend over £2 for ready made gnocchi and these were cheaper and much tastier. The cooking instructions may seem a bit overwhelming on first read but once you are working through them step by step all will become clear (especially with the shaping of the gnocchi) Have a go at these-it's definately worth the effort

elaineq's picture
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I made these and served them with a hot sage butter. Fun to make and really tasty.

elaineq's picture
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I made this and served them with a hot sage butter. Fun to make (loved going the little patterns with a fork!) and really tasty.

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