• (Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm)

These light gnocchi are served with nutty browned butter and parmesan. With the greens, it's big, rich and flavourful. Once you’ve had gnocchi like this, there’s no other way to have them. 

Serves
4

Preparation

25min

Cooking

35min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 3.5 (285 votes)
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The key with making perfect gnocchi is to boil the potatoes in their skins, because that prevents the potato from becoming overly wet. The dryer the potato, the less flour you have to add, and therefore the lighter the gnocchi will be.

Ingredients

Gnocchi

  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3 cups unbleached plain flour, sifted
  • 4 small potatoes, unpeeled (see Note)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) butter, to finish
  • 1 sprig sage, chopped, to finish
  • Salt and pepper

 

Greens

  • 1½ tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 4 slices smoked pancetta, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 spring onions (shallots / scallions), finely diced
  • 1 sprig thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
  • 2 cups mixed mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 6 cups mixed braising greens (such as silverbeet, chard, beet greens or spinach)
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) white wine
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) chicken stock
  • 3 tsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

1. For the gnocchi, place olive oil and garlic cloves in a small saucepan, and place over medium-low heat for 15-18 minutes, or until garlic is golden and soft. Reserve cloves and oil.

2. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until cooked through. Remove from water and peel when cooled.

3. Place the peeled potatoes in a ricer and rice onto a lightly floured work surface. Add flour and shape into a well. Add ricotta, parmesan, egg and mashed potatoes to the center of the well. Add cooked garlic and 3 tsp (15 ml) of the garlic oil to the well. Reserve remainder of garlic oil. Mix together using your fingertips or a fork. Once all ingredients are properly combined, knead the dough until smooth but slightly firm.

4. Form dough into a ball and cut in half. On a floured work surface, roll each piece into a round log 1.75 cm (¾-inch) thick. Using a knife or pastry cutter, cut dough into 2.5 cm (1 inch) long pieces.

5. Create gnocchi by gently pressing each piece onto the back of a fork to create a ridged pattern.  Reserve until ready to cook and serve.

6. For the greens, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly browned and crispy.

7. Add shallots, thyme, and garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until brown along the edges. Add chilli flakes and mixed greens and stir. Add white wine and chicken stock. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.

8. Once greens have wilted and liquid has reduced, add butter and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and reserve for plating.

9. To finish, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Place gnocchi into the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until they float.

10. Meanwhile (if needed, this process may be done in small batches to ensure even cooking), heat butter until slightly brown in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Strain the gnocchi out of boiling water, and add to hot butter with the sage leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes, or until golden on all sides. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

11. Serve hot over the braised greens. Garnish with parmesan cheese and reserved roasted garlic oil

 

Note

• Gnocchi are best made with a starchy potato variety (look for a variety that is said to be good for mashing), or an all-rounder. Avoid waxy varieties.