Thursday, September 15, 2011

Potato Gnocchi with Sage and Walnut Butter – Better a Dinner of Herbs...

Pin It There is a proverb which goes something like: Better a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf and hatred therewith. In other words, better to have modest offerings given with a generous heart than abundance offered with a mean spirit.

Gnocchi sounds so much more exotic than "potato dumpling"

My cupboard obviously has a generous heart. At first glance today, it appeared empty. Baked beans on toast for dinner... hmmmm. Think, Hester, think! Potatoes, flour, Parmesan, eggs, nuts, butter and plenty of herbs in the garden... channelling ... channelling... ggggggnnnnnn...  gnocchi!

For 3 to 4 servings you will need...

Gnocchi

550g Rooster or other floury potato, skin on
100g plain flour
2g  (½ teaspoon) baking powder
½ teaspoon fine table salt
1 egg, beaten


A little extra flour for dusting

1                  Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and carefully add just enough boiling water to cover. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook gently for about 15 minutes or until easily pierced right through with the tip of a knife. Drain the cooked potatoes and leave them aside for about 5 minutes or until just cool enough to handle. Gently peel, then push the potatoes through a potato ricer, catching them in a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have a ricer, mash them with a regular potato masher. Using a fork, gently spread the potato out into an even layer without compacting it. Leave to cool.
2                  Next, sprinkle in the flour and baking powder and lightly combine until the mixture resembles ground almonds.
3                 Add the beaten egg and mix gently using a fork to bring the ingredients together. When the egg has been evenly dispersed throughout, bring the mixture together in a ball, using floured hands.



4                 Turn out onto a floured work surface. Divide the mixture into about 4 portions and roll each into a rope about the thickness of your thumb. Using a sharp knife, cut each rope into pillows of dough about 1.5cm long (half an inch).
5                 Place each pillow of dough, one at a time, cut side down in the palm of your lightly floured hand. Press gently with the back of a fork so that it forms a slightly ridged indent. This helps the gnocchi hold any sauce you care to add. (You can freeze them on a tray at this point and transfer the frozen gnocchi to a freezer bag. Cook from frozen.)
6                 To cook: bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Carefully drop the shaped gnocchi into the pan one at a time. They will sink to the bottom of the pan. Don’t add more than will cover the base of the saucepan in a single layer. Make sure the water comes back to simmering, turning up the heat if necessary. When the gnocchi rise to the surface continue cooking for a further 3 minutes. When the gnocchi are cooked, drain and add to your favourite sauce.

The humble potato gets an Italian makeover

Gorgonzola or porcini sauces are particularly good with gnocchi. Today, however, I’m all about the simple so here’s how my sauce goes...

Sage and Walnut Butter

70g butter
50g finely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaved parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 fat clove garlic, crushed
Parmesan
Black pepper


1                 Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat until sizzling. Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan in a single layer and fry gently until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Turn to brown the other side and add the walnuts at the same time. After 2 minutes, add the crushed garlic and herbs and cook gently for a further minute or so.
2                 Transfer to a warm serving dish and scatter with parmesan shavings.

Just add Parmesan

Better than beans on toast!
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33 comments:

Lilly said...

I’ve never been a big fan of gnocchi. They look so plain and doughy. But yours…oh my…they look great! I wouldn’t mind to have a plate of these.

Hester Casey said...

@Lilly Thanks Lilly. That tiny bit of baking powder in the mix helps make them very light.

Dee at Deelicious Sweets said...

Oh my goodness! This looks fantastic! I have never made gnocchi because I was intimidated by it. Silly though, I have never looked at a recipe until now. That butter! Oh my word!

Kristin said...

I'd never heard that proverb before but I love the sentiment behind it. I'm a big fan of gnocchi but have yet to try making it myself. Yours looks lovely!

Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

That gnocchi looks wonderful! What a lovely proverb, very true.

Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. said...

I love gnocchi!! This sounds so fantastic! The sage is a great addition!

Anne@frommysweetheart said...

Hester...these are just beautiful! Wow...you make it look so easy! I love gnocchi so much. But it's one of those things I'm afraid to attempt for myself! And I love how you kept it simple with the sage butter...staying true to the wonderful proverb! Great post!

Lola Lobato said...

Mmm... what a temptation I love sage and walnut butter with gnocchi. I am sure it will be good with pumpkin ravioli too.

S.V. said...

This sounds and looks absolutely perfect.

Manu said...

Mmmmmm look at that sauce!!! I am getting so so so so so HUNGRY!!! And dinner time is still at least 1 hour away... SIGH! <3

firefoodie said...

Looks amazing. Brilliant comfort food, can't wait to give it a try.

Jill Colonna said...

Love your introduction and with that gorgeous walnut added to the sauce. So interesting about the baking powder. Another winner, Hester!

mike @ the culinary lens said...

Gnocchi certainly has a better ring to it it than potato dumpling.
That sage an walnut butter is such a good combination.
Your recipe looking requiring a "floury potato" puts me in mind of some of the Moore Street dealers calling out "Balls Of Flour" when selling potatoes.

monster cakes said...

YUM! I've neve made gnocci, so I'll have to try it out now. Lovely photos!

Gourmantine said...

Hester, these look wonderful! I think sage and butter can elevate even the most humble ingredients to something very special! I would be very happy to be curing my longing for Italy with a plate of these!

Cucina49 said...

These look amazing! I'm a little afraid of making gnocchi, but these deserve a try.

Carolyn said...

Well bring on the herbs, then be because this looks tremendous!

WiseMóna said...

Hester... I have been bogged down at college all week and feel terrible that I did not get a chance to pop over to visit till ow. I love gnocchi ... Love it. That first photo with the fork looks like it it is headed right for my mouth...beautiful.
Great recipe - as always. xxx

Sarah said...

LOVE! Perfect for the change of seasons...

Beloved Green said...

You channeled well! These turned out delightful.

Jennifer said...

they're beautiful! i've never tried making gnocchi, but you make it look and sound pretty easy. i'll have to give it a shot! thanks!

Veronica Gantley said...

You had me at potato.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Thank you for the tip about baking powder to keep them light. Your sauce sounds especially good.

motherrimmy said...

My husband loves Gnocchi. I've saved your recipe. I wonder if it would work with whole wheat pastry flour and an egg white?

meandmythinkingcap said...

I just finished cooking lunch and I saw your post. Yummy and not timeconsuming and I can bet this is delicious.

Brooks at Cakewalker said...

Hester, the gnocchi look fantastic - the sage & walnut butter really seals the deal. Brava!

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

I have never made gnocchi before. This looks like the recipe I will try for my first time. Great blog! This is my first time here :)

Sharon said...

Much better than beans on toast! I love gnocchi and yours look SO good...

Buttercream Blondie said...

This looks fantastic & perfect for fall! That walnut butter with sage just made me swoon! Must try it soon :)

Lindsay @ Rosemarried said...

oh gosh, this recipe looks so tasty! I'm glad I found you via Foodbuzz. your blog is fantastic!

Christina said...

This looks amazing. I've never tried cooking gnocchi at home because I thought they were rather uninteresting. But your recipe makes them look special indeed! I will have to give them a go.

Christina @ The Hungry Australian said...

This looks amazing. I've never tried cooking gnocchi at home because I thought they were rather uninteresting. But your recipe makes them look special indeed! I will have to give them a go.

jenroque77 said...

Your gnocchi looks amazing! I have been too intimidated to try my hand at them but you make it look effortless!