Thanks to Tobie Puttock, I will never buy gnocchi again – I’ll make it. The concept of making it myself always bored me, because it looked fiddly and time consuming. This recipe is actually really simple and had my husband professing his undying love and affection. The secret is in the baking of the potato rather than boiling, the texture is better.
Gnocchi with fresh basil pesto
Serves 2 adults & 2 kids
Gnocchi (adapted Tobie Puttock recipe)
500g rock salt
500g unpeeled floury potatoes (russets are best)
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
130g plain flour, plus extra if needed
Pesto (makes about 3/4 cup)
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup pine nuts (no need to toast them)
1+ 3/4 basil leaves
4 tbs freshly grated parmesan
130ml extra virgin olive oil
For the pesto, put the garlic, pinenuts, basil, parmesan & a generous pinch of sea salt into a mortar & pestle or food processor and pound or mix to a paste.
In a steady stream, add the oil, mixing continuously.
To make the gnocchi, first preheat the oven to 220C.
Scatter the rock salt on a baking tray and place the washed potatoes on top and bake for 40 mins or until soft the whole way through (test with a skewer).
Let the potatoes cool completely before, peeling the skin off with a knife.
If you have a mouli or a potato ricer, pass the potatoes through or gently mash until nice and smooth with no lumps.
Add the parmesan, a pinch of salt and the egg yolks and bring together with your hands.
Start adding the flour, a little at a time until the dough is nice and smooth, not sticky but not too dry.
On a floured surface, divide the dough into 2 pieces and rollout each one into a 20cm log and cut small 2cm pieces. Keep the pieces on a floured surface or plate so they don’t stick.
Boil a large pot of salted water & plunge the gnocchi for about 30 seconds or until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Divide the gnocchi in bowls and spoon over the pesto and top with extra freshly grated parmesan.