Potato Gnocchi with cream, Pancetta and fresh basil sauce with three coloured Baby Bell peppers, asparagus and drizzled with white truffle infused grape seed oil
Posted on 09/11/2011
How many would it make: 1 portion
900 grams (or close enough when weighing before cooking) whole kipfler potatoes
1 large free range organic beaten egg (you beat the egg so that it evenly distributes when mixing into the flour and potato)
2-1/4 cups of Vitarium Plain flour
pinch of salt
CREAMY PECORINO PANCETTA & BASIL SAUCE
Potato Gnocchi (prepared earlier with my recipe )
6 slices of Gluten Free Pancetta (not too thin otherwise it falls apart) – Mild (or hot if you prefer)
220 grams of grated Pecorino Romano – (Cheese made from Sheep’s milk preferred – I used the Australian brand Zanetti’s)
200 ml Cream – I have used King Island Cream
Note: If you have a lactose intolerance then you can replace the cream with a mixture of water and gluten free cornflour.
50 ml water – filtered
Fresh Sweet or common Basil – 2 tablespoons sliced, tops for decorating
Baby Peppers – 3 colours ( whatever is in season )
Cracked Black Pepper
White Wine – about 2 tablespoons
Asparagus - 3 or 4 stalks per serve
White Truffle Infused Grape Seed Oil – I used the one pictured below because grape seed oil has a more delicate flavour then truffle infused in olive oil.
STEP BY STEP METHOD:
1. Bring the water in a large saucepan to the boil, then add the potatoes whole with the skin still on in salted water ( 2 pinches) until cooked, this takes about 30 minutes. You can test if they are cooked by using a fork to push into them.
2. Once cooked drain the potatoes and then peel them being careful not to burn yourself. If you use the sharp end of a potato peeler or a knife you can make a shallow cut down the length of the potato, this makes it easy to peel the skin off.
3. Break up the potatoes and pass them through a potato ricer or a ‘mouli’ (vegetable food mill – see picture below) and into a large bowl.
4. Now the potato is ready, add the Vitarium plain flour, egg and a good pinch of salt.
5. Mix with a spoon until it starts to become too thick to use a spoon, then use your hands and kneed the mixture until you have a nice pliable ball of dough.
6. Prepare a work area and dust it with Vitarium plain flour.
7. Take the dough, a piece at a time, and roll it out with your hands until you have rolls about 2.5cm to 3 cm in diameter. The thickness will depend on how big you would like the gnocchi to be when it is finished.
8. Cut the tubes of dough into pieces about 2.5 to 3cm long.
9. Pick up each piece of dough, and with a standard kitchen fork, holding the tines curving upwards, with the cut face of the dough against the fork, use your finger to press a piece of dough gently against the fork and roll it slightly, then place it on a plate that is lightly covered in Vitarium plain flour.
10. The result should be gnocchi with an indent on one side from your finger and a pattern on the other side from the fork.
11. Handle the gnocchi carefully so they don’t lose their shape. Keep them apart so they don’t touch one another or they’ll stick together.
12. Cover all the plates with cling film and refrigerate until ready to use. The gnocchi can be prepared ahead of time and frozen if necessary until you want to use it. Then all you need to do is cook it when you have the accompanying sauce ready.
13. When you are ready to cook the gnocchi, (depending on how many people you are serving) bring a pot of water to the boil and then add the desired amount of gnocchi carefully When they float to the surface they are ready (about 5 minutes) just remove them with a slotted spoon and set them in a strainer to drain off the excess water.
CREAMY PECORINO PANCETTA & BASIL SAUCE
1. Make the Potato Gnocchi (refer to my recipe provided)
2. In a large non-stick pan cook the pancetta just enough to melt the fat but not so much that it becomes crispy. If the pancetta is fatty then drain of the excess grease with kitchen paper. Slice into long strips and slice off extra fat bits. Leave aside. Discard the fat pieces
3. Set aside the uncleaned pan to be reused.
4. Seed and slice the bell peppers , lightly spray with olive oil ,and slow roast ( at 150 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes ) until soft. Do not burn or let the skin come away .Leave in the oven ( turned off )
5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add the desired amount of gnocchi carefully (depending on how many people you are serving). When they float to the surface they are ready (about 5 minutes), just remove them with a slotted spoon and set them in a strainer to drain off the excess water.
6. Chop some of the basil and set aside some tops of the basil to garnish at the end.
7. Steam the asparagus in a steamer or in the microwave until it is still partially uncooked and holds its shape and is still crunchy when you bite it. (If using a microwave cook for no more than 30 to 40 seconds on high and if using a microwave, leave this until step 8)
8. In a bowl add the cream, the grated Pecorino Romano, pinch of salt, and cracked black pepper. Splash in some white wine (about 2 tablespoons) and combine, using a whisk, all the ingredients until well mixed.
9. Heat the same pan that cooked the pancetta to a low heat and add the sliced pancetta. Quickly add the cream and cheese mixture and stir through.
10. If you feel the sauce is too thick, add a little water.
11. Turn the pan onto medium, add the gnocchi to the pan stirring continuously to blend the cheese and the cream. (Be careful not to overheat, as the cream may split.)
12. Add the chopped basil to the pan and fold through.
13. Using a large spoon , plate up amount required for each person .
14. Place on top 2 pieces of each colour bell pepper on the centre of the gnocchi dish to make a flower shape.
15. Place 3 pieces of asparagus on top of the bell peppers to make a kind of star shape.
16. Place the basil tops right in the centre on top to decorate.
17. Finally drizzle a small amount of the White Truffle infused Grape Seed Oil on top.
The Gnocchi recipe makes enough for 8 serves.
The sauce recipe makes 4 if serving for a main course or 6 for an entree.
I support and embrace the concept of the 100 Mile Food Diet, which in essence is to support local farmers and producers in a radius of 100 Miles of where I live. So nearly all of the ingredients in this recipe are local.