I never liked gnocchi much when I was younger, but one day last summer (due to a glut of sprouty potatoes – that seems to happen to me a lot!), I decided to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen making some for dinner. I was blown away. Seriously, homemade gnocchi is the best.
Last time, I had lots of basil to use up, so mixed up some pesto (something else which is much better when homemade); this time, I followed a recipe for gnocchi in lovely sage butter, which suited since I was buying fresh sage anyway for yesterday’s roast chicken.
The following recipe is slightly adapted from a cookbook I own called ‘The New Vegetarian Kitchen’, which I’d highly recommend to anyone who likes slightly cheffy, gorgeous veggie food. My main change was adding peas (don’t like meals to be short on veg!) but I also made gnocchi half the sizes that they suggest, which I think works better.
Gnocchi in sage butter (serves two)
- Roughly 275g potatoes, kept whole and in their skins (I used four medium-small ones) 20p
- 100g plain flour, sifted 3p
- 1 egg, beaten (the recipe called for 1 egg for four portions, I just didn’t want to waste the other half of the egg) 17p
- 160g roasted butternut squash, chopped into pieces (see note at the bottom re roasting squash) 23p
- 60g walnut halves 70p
- 35g butter 14p
- 1 small handful fresh sage, roughly chopped (I used about a quarter of a pack, which was all I had, but would increase next time) 16p
- 1-2 tblsp olive oil (to roast squash) 10p
- 80g frozen peas 8p
Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool a bit, slip the skins off with your fingers, cut into smaller pieces and press through a sieve to mash finely (mashing by hand will leave lumps in your finished gnocchi! I tried that last time).
Add the flour and egg, and mix well, kneading – you can season a little here too. It will make quite a soft dough. Roll into a sausage about 1.5cm diameter (might be easier to handle if you make two sausages) and cut into 1cm thick pieces. Press the tines of a fork very lightly into each one to make the ridged gnocchi shape. The dough is quite soft, so you might need to flour the fork after every few or else it sticks. Chill.
At this point, I roasted the squash. I roasted the whole squash in wedges, unpeeled, by tossing in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and cooking at 200C for about 30 minutes. You can eat the skin when it’s been roasted (it’s really good) so all I did then was pick out about 160g and chop into smaller pieces. The rest is in a tub in the fridge, ready to be added to meals all week. You can chuck into any curries or stews, toss through salads or serve as a side dish.
In the last five minutes of roasting the squash, pop the walnuts in the oven to toast slightly before chopping. Boil the peas for a few minutes and set aside.
Cook the gnocchi in a large pan of boiling water – I salted the water and cooked in two batches. They only take a couple of minutes and you know when they’re done as they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon so you can do the next batch.
Meanwhile, heat the butter oven a low heat in a high-sided frying pan and cook the sage for one minute. Add the walnuts, peas and squash to warm through.
91p per portion. Season and serve with a dusting of parmesan or similar if desired (13p for 10g Asda Grana Padano) – we also had a side salad (50p for half a bag of salad leaves, plus 5p for olive oil and 2p for balsamic vinegar).