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- Prep time:
- 40 min, plus cooling
- Cook time:
- 30 min
Italian tomatoes, basil and mozarella are the perfect trio of flavours to enhance Theo Randall's homemade gnocchi
Method1. For the tomato sauce: heat a good splash of olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan, stir in the sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Momentarily take the pan off the heat, then tip the tomatoes in the pan. Put it back on the heat, then rip up and stir in the basil. Simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened and saucy, breaking down the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as they cook. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. For the gnocchi: cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 20 minutes, or until very soft. Drain through a colander and leave for a few minutes to allow the excess moisture to steam off. Mash the potatoes until very smooth - a mouli-legumes or potato ricer is best for this - making sure there are no lumps. Place in a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.
3. When the potato is cold, mix in the flour, then beat in the egg yolks to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into a long 'sausage' shape about 2cm in diameter. Cut each 'sausage' into 2cm lengths and place on a floured board. Slightly flatten each piece with the back of a fork, leaving fork marks on one side – these grooves will catch the tomato sauce when you plate up.
4. Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to the boil. Tip the gnocchi into the pan of boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon straight to the tomato sauce pan.
5. Gently toss the gnocchi and sauce together. Serve with the chopped mozzarella on top, a scattering of chopped basil leaves, a grinding of pepper, then finish with a final glug of olive oil.
For the gnocchi
- 1 kg floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper, peeled and halved
- 200 g '00' pasta flour
- 2 egg yolks, preferably organic
For the tomato sauce
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 400 g tin tomatoes, preferably Cirio brand
- small bunch basil, leaves removed, plus extra chopped leaves to serve
- 125 g ball buffalo mozzarella, chopped
Tips and suggestions
- You can see Theo make his gnocchi here.
Leave the potato to cool before adding the egg yolks, otherwise it will start cooking rather than binding the potato and flour.
Do not over mix the gnocchi ingredients. The more you mix the tougher and more solid the gnocchi will become rather than being like light and fluffy pillows.
Marking one side of the slightly flattened gnocchi with the back of a fork gives them a more professional finish.
Try flavouring the gnocchi with other ingredients such as grated parmesan or wilted spinach. Make sure to wring out the spinach well first.