The key to making good gnocchi is to use dry, crushed potatoes (so you don’t need to cut into glass potatoes!) because you need to keep the potatoes as dry as possible in order to steam them rather than boil them.
If you choose to boil potatoes, don’t peel or cut them until they’re tender.
You can make gnocchi from scratch (it’s not as difficult as it sounds, and much more economical than buying ready-made versions) but with limited time, in between stage 6 blackouts, I cheated this time. But I’m sharing a great recipe for homemade gnocchi—which turns out to be perfect—and I encourage you to try.
Whether you’re cooking them from scratch, or taking a shortcut, boil them quickly first to bring out their soft inner centers. Topped with toasted walnuts, toasted walnuts, brown butter and fresh sage, plus generous gratings of Parmesan, this dish is a feast for all seasons.
Gnocchi and walnuts with brown butter and sage
1 kg yeast/crushed potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt for the cooking water
Boil the potatoes whole, unpeeled, so they don’t absorb too much water, until they’re fully cooked and can be pierced with a knife.
Once cool enough to handle, peel the cooked potatoes and pass them through a food mill or potato processor, to a smooth, even consistency. If you don’t have a paddle, puree until very smooth. Don’t be tempted to put it in a food processor because you’ll end up with a sticky mess. I learned this the hard way from making scordalia – a Greek potato and garlic dip.
Turn the cooked potatoes out onto a lightly floured surface and add about half of the flour. Knead until it becomes a viscous mass. Add more flour a little at a time and keep kneading until the dough is smooth. You probably won’t need to use all of the flour. Cut the dough into smaller sections, and roll each piece into a long cylinder about 2 cm in diameter. Cut each cylinder into 2 cm pieces.
Meanwhile, bring another pot of salted water to a boil. While you wait, shape the gnocchi by pressing each piece between your thumb and the tines of the fork, and twisting it slightly so that each side of the gnocchi has the imprint of a fork and a small indentation from your thumb.
Preparing the gnocchi, whether fresh or just bought: Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi to the pot in small batches to avoid crowding. Slowly cook for about 2 minutes, until tender rise to the roof. drain saside.
200 grams of fresh walnuts, cut into cubes
Extra virgin olive oil for pumpkin and gnocchi
White pepper to taste
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
10 large fresh sage leaves, washed and patted dry (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then bring to a simmer. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C. Drain and toss the walnuts in olive oil, seasoned with white pepper, to taste. Insert pan liner and roast walnuts until fully cooked and golden brown, flipping halfway through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Toss the gnocchi in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Transfer the gnocchi to the airfryer basket and cook for about 10 minutes, until golden and crispy. Transfer the gnocchi to a serving bowl with the squash.
While the gnocchi is cooking, heat the butter in a saucepan, stirring occasionally, until it begins to turn light golden and smell nutty, about three minutes. Add the walnuts, sage and a pinch of salt and stir. The butter will turn a deep golden colour. Once it reaches this point, pour it over the gnocchi and walnuts, toss gently to coat, and spread the grated Parmesan cheese on top. DM