Making your own gnocchi always seems like such a great idea at the time, doesn’t it? After all, how hard can potato and flour be to master? Unfortunately, I’ve found myself in the kitchen cursing at a tough ball of hot potato more times than I care to comment, but not anymore! Turns out there is a very simple recipe and with my penchant for anything Italian, I. Am. Here. For. It. Thanks to Alex Elliot-Howery and Jaimee Edwards and their Cornersmith guide to a sustainable kitchen, Use It All, this week I am bringing you this simple gnocchi recipe and delicious homemade scroll combo. Enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Use It All by Alex Elliott-Howery and Jaimee Edwards, photography by Cath Muscat. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.
The simplest potato gnocchi
Serves 4 hungry people
1.2kg unpeeled floury potatoes, such as Pontiac, King Edward, Desiree or Sebago
Up to 1 ⅓ cups (200g) plain all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
Olive oil, for drizzling
Sauce of your choice
1. Place the whole potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Gently boil until they are tender in the middle, but not falling apart. Drain and allow to cool a little.
2. When the potatoes are just cool enough to handle, peel them, cut them in half and pass them through a potato ricer into a large bowl. If you don’t have a potato ricer, you can grate them on the medium side of a box grater or scrape them apart with a fork.
3. Add one and a half teaspoons of salt and 150g of the flour to the warm potato and gently mix with your hands to bring everything together. Add a little more flour if the dough seems sticky; you’re looking to make a soft and just-combined dough (too much flour will result in tough gnocchi so only use as much as you need).
4. Lightly flour your workbench and tip out the dough, then very gently knead a few times until the dough is soft and smooth. Form it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
5. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. Lightly flour your workbench again, cut the dough into six pieces and then roll each piece into a long, thin sausage. Using a knife, cut 2–3 cm pieces of gnocchi (they should look like pretty little pillowy rectangles). Place each piece of gnocchi onto the baking tray, making sure they don’t touch each other.
6. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi in small batches until each piece floats to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon, then drain and place in a baking dish with a little drizzle of olive oil. Shake the dish as you add each spoonful of cooked gnocchi, so that the pieces are coated in oil and don’t clump together.
7. Once your gnocchi are cooked, add the sauce of your choice such as passata and shavings of salted ricotta or sprinkling of sausage meatballs and a green salad.
275ml milk, plus extra for brushing
7g instant dried yeast
1 tsp salt
45g caster (superfine) sugar
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
Canola or vegetable oil, for greasing
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1½ cups (400g) stewed apple
½ cup (85g) sultanas
⅓ cup (115g) jam or marmalade of your choice, warmed, for glazing
1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the milk, yeast, eggs, salt, sugar, butter and flour on low until the ingredients are combined. Turn the mixer to a medium speed and mix until you see a dough beginning to form. Use a pastry scraper to scrape any mixture left on the side of the bowl during the mixing process. Depending on your mixer, you may need to finish the dough by hand as it becomes thicker or hold onto the mixer in the final stages.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured workbench and knead with your hands until it comes together into a smooth ball. Grease a stainless steel or ceramic bowl with oil and add the dough. Cover with a lid or beeswax wrap and leave in the fridge overnight to rise.
3. The next day, roll out the dough on a lightly floured workbench to a 30cm (12 inch) square. Mix the cinnamon through the stewed apple and then spread this evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the sultanas on top. (For alternative filling options, see below.)
4. Carefully roll the dough into a log, then cut into rough two and a half centimeters (1 inch) thick rounds – you should get six to eight. Place the rounds on a tray lined with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and leave for one hour to rise.
5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the scrolls with milk before baking to give them a lovely glossy finish. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until golden, then remove from the oven and glaze immediately with the warmed caramel or jam. The scrolls are best eaten on the day they are made, but they will keep for one to two days in an airtight container – just reheat them in a low oven.
Alternative filling options:
• Spread the dough with a thin layer of tomato paste, then sprinkle over one cup (100g) grated cheese and ½ cup (80g) chopped ham.
• Spread the dough with 1½ cups (300g) caramelised onions and sprinkle with grated cheese.
• Spread the dough with a thin layer of pesto and top with a small handful of chopped pitted olives and 1 cup (100g) grated cheese.
• Mix one cup (250g) ricotta and ½ cup (165g) jam in a bowl and spread over the dough.