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Gnocchi with peas

Gnocchi – where have you been all our lives? So much easier than we anticipated!

Wine suggestion: We tried a delicious Langhe Nebbiolo by Luigi Pira from Piedmont in Italy which had a great balance between light weight, depth of flavour, dancing acidity and a characterful earthiness. Gnocchi is refined and elegant but also earthy and rustic and the food-wine combo matched really well.

Gnocchi – serves 4

  • 2 large floury potatoes
  • 50g ricotta cheese
  • 90g plain flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Grated Parmesan – to serve

For the Sauce: 

  • olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 150g frozen peas, defrosted
  • butter
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • zest of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Bake the potatoes for 1-1¼ hours until tender. While the potatoes are still warm, remove the flesh from the skin and mash until smooth (use a potato ricer if you have one).

Mix in the ricotta, a pinch of salt and white pepper and the flour. Make a well in the middle, add the beaten egg and start to combine the mixture with floured hands. Work in the thyme leaves and continue until you have a smooth dough but don’t overwork or it will become too dense .

Cut the dough in half and shape each piece into a long cigar shape about 1.5 cm thick. Use the back of a floured table knife to cut each length into 2cm pieces to make ‘pillows’ of gnocchi.

Gently press each gnocchi in the middle with a floured finger.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the gnocchi, tilting the pan from side to side briefly to stop them sticking together, them simmer for just 1½-2 minutes or until they start to float.

Drain the gnocchi and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add a bit of olive oil. Add the gnocchi to the hot pan with a pinch of salt and black pepper and sauté for a minute or two on each side until coloured.

Add the peas to the pan with a knob of butter and the thyme leaves. Toss to heat through, then add the lemon zest. Serve with the grated Parmesan.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.)

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