We love gnocchi when they are light and delicate. To achieve this, the flour needs to be kept to a minimum in the mix and baking the potatoes also ensures a lighter gnocchi and worth the extra effort. Adding the mountain pepper to this classic recipe gives a lovely spicy element.
1 kg baking potatoes
Tasmanian Pepper Salt to taste
2 tablespoons mountain pepper, dried and ground
2 egg yolks
100g plain flour
120g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Mountain Pepper
1/3 cup of freshly grated or shaved Parmesan
Try to choose potatoes of a similar size so that they bake evenly. Place them in a baking tray in a hot oven (200g) and bake until completely cooked – approximately 1 hour.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and soon as they are cool enough to handle the skin should just peel away by rubbing with your fingers. Mash the peeled potatoes with the salt and mountain pepper until very smooth.
Add the egg yolks and flour. Mash/mix thoroughly to form a dough and then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
Once the dough is ready, form it in to long sausage shapes and cut into pieces the size you want the gnocchi. Remember that the gnocchi will expand a little when cooked so don’t make them too big.
Use a fork and press the tines to mark one side of the gnocchi in the traditional way. This helps the cooked gnocchi hold the sauce better.
Place the gnocchi on a non-stick paper lined platter or tray, ensuring they don’t touch and stick together.
Rest the gnocchi in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking. This is an important step. If you cook the gnocchi as soon as you have formed them, they may disintegrate a little when cooking in the boiling water. Resting them ensures that they keep their integrity and shape in the cooking process.
To cook the gnocchi, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil and place some of the gnocchi in to cook. Cook in batches and cook each batch for about 8-10 minutes or until the gnocchi rise to the surface and are tender.
Remove the gnocchi carefully with a slotted spoon and drain well. The gnocchi are quite delicate, so they require gentle handling at this stage.
These gnocchi are a perfect simply dressed with melted butter and parmesan. While the gnocchi are cooking, melt the butter with the Mountain Pepper in a saucepan over a low heat.
Divide the gnocchi among the serving plates, pour the butter sauce over the top and finish with a sprinkling of parmesan