Potato gnocchi with a sage burnt butter sauce

With the cold settling in and an upcoming trip to Italy next week, Sam and I have been craving Italian food. Gnocchi is something that is so simple, yet I am so scared that I won’t get it right. A mixture too moist and the potato morsels break apart, cooked for a touch too long and they are as solid as rocks – it truly is a fine balance.

I found this recipe in the Australian Masterchef archives and it was surprisingly pretty good. I adapted this recipe slightly by putting the potatoes in the oven to dry out any excess moisture – something I read in a Jamie Oliver recipe.

The recipe below makes enough for 6, but I like to make the full portion anyway and freeze the extra. The easiest way to freeze is to place the dumplings separately on a tray in the quick freeze section of your freezer. Once frozen you can store the gnocchi in a container or freezer bag.

Potato Gnocchi with a sage burnt butter sauce

Recipe adapted from Masterchef Australia

  • 1.5kg desiree potatoes
  • 1 x 55g egg
  • 2 tbs grana parmesan
  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 200g unsalted butter

Preheat an oven to 180 degrees.

Place unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan of cold water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. The potatoes must be neither under nor over cooked, test with a skewer – when it is easily inserted, they are cooked.

Drain potatoes into a colander, then place on a tray in the oven for 10 minutes. This will dry out any excess moisture in the potatoes.

Leave the potatoes to cool slightly before peeling the potatoes and pass through a ricer. Gently mix in the egg, salt and parmesan. Sieve in the flour and combine with a few swift folds.

Tip potato mixture onto a lightly floured bench and gently work it into a smooth mound.

Cut off ¼ of the potato mix at a time and roll out into a sausage shape to a thickness of about 1½ cm. Cut each sausage into 2cm pieces. Place these on a tray lined with grease proof paper, ready for cooking in salted boiling water.

For the sage butter, heat the butter in a shallow frying pan. When starting to bubble, add the sage leaves and cook until crisp and almost translucent. Pour through a sieve placed over a bowl. Spread the leaves on paper towel to drain. Keep warm. Reserve butter.

Cook gnocchi in a large pan of boiling salted water in small batches of 20 pieces at a time. Shortly after the gnocchi has risen to the surface (2 minutes) remove with a strainer, drain and add to the sage butter. Toss the pan to coat the gnocchi in the butter. Season with salt and pepper and spoon among 2 serving plates and top with fried sage leaves.

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