Well made gnocchi is a wonderful thing. It should be made in the classic Italian way and be light and delicate. In this recipe the skin is left on the potato when it is cooking to ensure not too much water penetrates into the potato. If there is too much water in the potato then it requires more flour and the gnocchi will be tough.
- 1 potato (not peeled)
- 1 small handful flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan
- 50 g spinach, cooked and squeezed to remove any excess liquid
- 1 knob butter
- ½ onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 20 broad beans, peeled and blanched
- 3 ladlefuls chicken stock
- 1 pinch saffron threads
- ¼ handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh grated parmesan, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make gnocchi, place the potato in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil.
Place a small handful of flour onto the benchtop and make a well in the centre.
Peel the potato. Squeeze potato through a potato ricer into the flour well. Make another well with the potato and flour.
Crack an egg into the well, leaving the egg whole. Grate parmesan into the well on top of the whole egg. Sprinkle salt on top.
Now beat the egg with a fork, gradually starting to combine with the flour, potato and parmesan. Add the spinach. Gently mix it in and knead the dough into a longish roll, dusting the bench with a little flour as necessary, until about 2 cm high. Cut into 2 cm pieces.
With your thumb or a fork, form gnocchi shapes making an indent in each piece. This helps trap the sauce in the gnocchi.
Bring water to the boil in a large pasta pot.
While the water comes to the boil make the sauce. Melt butter in a frying pan and add the onion. Cook for about 1 minute before adding the broad beans. Add a ladle of chicken stock to the pan and simmer for 2 minutes, add a second ladle of stock.
Add a pinch of saffron threads, crushing them with your fingers as you sprinkle them. Add parsley, stirring and simmering for one minute. Add a third ladle of stock.
Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce reduces and thickens, adding a little more stock if needed. Season to taste.
When water in pasta pot comes to a boil, add a generous amount of salt and then the gnocchi. Boil until the gnocchi rise to the top. Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and transfer into the sauce in the frying pan and mix while still simmering.
Grate fresh parmesan onto the gnocchi. Toss well and serve immediately.