This recipe was inspired by Gennaro Contaldo’s recipe in The Two Greedy Italians Eat Italy book. I couldn’t find any chestnut flour and so tried it with the vacuum packed or tinned variety by Merchant Gourmet. It worked rather well but you might want to add the vacuum packed chestnuts to the potatoes at the end of the cooking time to soften them up for mashing. Especially if you are using a ricer like I do.
This wasn’t the first time I had made gnocchi but it was the first time I’d made it on a flat work surface instead of a bowl. I started out like this…
And then after a little kneading and making long, thin sausages, I cut them into little pieces, squished them along the points of a fork to get these…
…but concluded they involved a bit too much faffing for my liking. So I rolled the pieces into little balls and flattened them with the fork like this…
- 200g floury potatoes like Maris Piper
- 300g cooked chestnuts or chestnut puree
- 250g plain flour or you can use pasta 00 flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- a bowl of rice flour for dusting
To make them
- Wash and peel the potatoes and then boil them until they are soft. If you are using the cooked chestnuts, add them into the boiling water with the potatoes about 5 minutes before the potatoes are done so they are easier to mash.
- Mash the potatoes and chestnuts and set aside to cool.
- Measure out the flour onto a clean work surface – a dome/volcano shape works nicely – and sprinkle over the salt.
- Add the potatoes and chestnuts.
- Make a dip or well in the centre and break the eggs into it.
- Slowly mix it all together with your hands until it starts coming together into a ball. Don’t worry if you have the scrape your hands down a few times. If it’s sticky add a little more plain flour.
- Once you have your dough ball, knead it lightly and then break off pieces to roll into long, 1cm thick sausages. You can flour the surface with rice flour if it’s sticky.
- Once you have all your sausages, go along them and cut 1-2cm bits.
- To make the square looking gnocchi above, take a piece and a fork dipped in rice flour. Roll the piece down the tines (ends) of the fork so it kinda curls on itself.
- To make the round ones, roll each piece into a small ball, flatten slightly and then using a fork dipped in rice flour, make an imprint using the fork tines.
- You can leave them to dry out a little or pop them in the fridge for use within a couple of days.
- When you’re ready to eat them, boil a very large pan of water (with some salt if you wish).
- Plop the gnocchi in and cook until they come up to the surface – literally a few minutes.
We had these with the sage butter sauce in the book which is simply about 100g butter melted with a handful of sage leaves and then a piece of parmesan grated on top. I found this rather rich so added the zest and juice of a whole lemon too.