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Gnocchi; Potato & Herb Recipe
.An excellent dish, that can largely be prepared ahead and chilled overnight - see stage 8.
Baking the potatoes first both extracts the maximum flavour from them, and stops them being watery.
Potato: 600g (1lb 5oz) Potatoes, such as Desirée
30g (1oz) freshly-grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon each of chipped fresh tarragon, chervil and parsley
250g (8oz) Self-Raising Flour, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting and kneading
1 large egg, beaten
Butter, softened, to grease the dish
Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper
- Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven until tender enough for a skewer to slip through with ease - a matter of an hour or so, depending on the size of your potatoes.
- Cut each one in half, leave until cool enough to handle and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
- Mash the potato or push it through a ricer or mouli-légume, then stir in the beaten egg and season.
- Bring the dough together using your hands to form a soft ball, then place it on a lightly floured work surface and knead it lightly for 2-3 minutes.
- If it feels sticky, add more flour.
- Pull off small pieces of dough and roll them into finger-thick lumps about 2.5cm (1ins) long.
- Roll each piece firmly down the back of a fork so it leaves indentations in the gnocchi - these are for holding your chosen sauce; or simply squeeze them into a pillow-shape.
- Place the gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover with cling film and chill for 20 minutes - or overnight.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC, 400ºF, gas mark 6.
- Bring a big pan of salted water to the boil and drop the gnocchi in (in 2 batches if necessary) for 1 minute, or until they rise to the surface.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly.
- Thickly butter the dish and scatter the gnocchi over the bottom in a single layer.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes on the middle shelf, covered with your chosen sauce.
Recommended sauces: 'Caramelised Tomato'; 'Gorgonzola and Cream'