I've never made gnocchi before but have always been a fan. My first memorable experience was of eating it bathed in a four cheese sauce in a deserted Italian restaurant in Macau. I returned the evening after and ordered the exact same thing. So often they have a tendency to be a complete stodgefest, but home-made ones are different. These were delicate as a cloud, soft and sat deceptively lightly in the belly.
The sauce, quantities guessed turned out pretty damn well too. My version was a bit chunkier but the flavour was just as I remembered. Not very pretty though.
Gnocchi in Walnut Sauce
750gr potatoes - I used Vivaldi
1 egg yolk
1 tsp salt
Boil the potatoes in their skins until tender. Peel (hold the potato with a cloth) and push through a ricer. Beat the egg yolk and add to the potato. Sift the flour and add in thirds, incorporating the flour with the potato as you go. Finally add the salt, combine well and knead lightly. It should be soft and slightly sticky.
Dust your work surface well and roll into a thin sausage. Cut into 1" pieces and press lightly into them with a fork. Place on a well floured plate and refridgerate.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
A handful of basil, sliced finely
2 handfuls of panko breadcrumbs
2 handfuls of parmesan, grated
1 pint milk
Heat the olive oil and fry the garlic very gently. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts and chop well. Add this to the garlic and toss well. Add the milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the panko breadcrumbs and stir well. Cook for another 5 minutes, then add the parmesan and the basil. Take off the heat. If it's too thick, add a little more milk.
Put on a pan of water to boil. When it's boiling, turn down to a simmer and add the gnocchi. When they're floating they're done. Gently incorporate the sauce into the gnocchi and serve with plenty of black pepper.