Gnocchi and roast vegetables

I’ve made this dish a few times for lunch over lockdown, its a great way to use seasonal vegetables, super tasty and doesn’t take a whole load of time. I’ve making it with ready made gnocchi from the supermarket (Rana brand) but we haven’t been able to find any for a few weeks so on another rainy day I thought I would make my own! From the images you can see that mine are pale orange, that’s because I added a slice of left over roast crown prince squash nut but it’s still 80% potato.
Making my own gnocchi always fills me with trepidation, just like pasta, so much time and concentration is needed. Well I can’t say this isn’t true but I felt all sorts of smugness after making them. The extra effort that went into making them was worth it. They were softer and more delicate than the shop bought ones and made the meal lighter. I made the gnocchi over lunchtime, froze it and roasted the vegetables beforehand too so bringing together the final dish for dinner took about 20 minutes.
Recipe below for both the gnocchi and the final dish.
Gnocchi
3 medium potatoes
50g roast squash (optional!)
150g 00 flour
1 egg
salt
Vegetables to roast- I used 1/2 cauliflower, 1 leek, 5 large chestnut mushrooms, small head of broccoli. Cut into bite size pieces to fit a large roasting tin.
2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper
100 ml vegetable stock
1 crushed garlic clove
zest of half a lemon
handful of parsley
handful of grated parmesan
Salt and black pepper
Knob of butter

tablespoon olive oil

Making the gnocchi

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees, put the potatoes (unpeeled) onto a baking tray and bake for around 45 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes. Leave to cool for 20 minutes or so and then scoop out the flesh from the skins into a bowl. To make the gnocchi super smooth and light, I used a potato ricer to mash the gnocchi. (At this stage I also added some roasted squash) Into the potato add a large pinch of salt, the egg and 100g of flour, reserving the rest to add after you have brought the dough together. This ensure you don’t add too much flour. Less flour is better. Knead the mixture in a bowl and then add more flour until you get an easy to handle dough. Flour the dough ball and flour your surface area. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Take one piece onto your floured surface and roll with your hands into a long sausage. I rolled mine to about 30 cm and 2cm thick. Then slice the dough into 1cm pieces. I then rolled each piece of gnocchi on an upturned fork to create ridges on the gnocchi. You don’t need to do this, it was very time consuming but they did look more uniform and cute. Place onto a floured tray. Repeat with the 3 other pieces of gnocchi. I found that I made enough gnocchi for 2 meals x 2 people. I froze both batches on the trays. (once frozen you can put the pieces into a ziplock bag and freeze until you want to cook them.

Making the gnocchi with roast vegetables dish

Firstly cut the vegetables into bite size pieces and spread out onto a baking tray, massage some olive oil into them with your hands, and scatter with salt and black pepper. Roast in a hot oven (200 degrees) for around 20 mins.

Whilst your vegetables are cooking, get everything prepped for your dish. Heat some olive oil and butter in a pan on medium heat, when hot add the gnocchi from fresh or frozen and pan fry until nice a crispy. (You don’t need to boil them- they can get claggy if you boil them, I prefer them crispy outside and soft inside) This should take only around 5 minutes if the pan is hot. Take off the heat and leave to the side.

Crush the garlic, dilute about 1/4 stock cube into a jug, zest the lemon, grate the parmesan and chop your herbs,  In a deep non stick pan (I used a wok) gently heat some olive oil and butter on a low heat and add your garlic to infuse the oil. By this time your vegetables will be done so take out and leave to the side, they should be starting to get golden in some parts. Add the vegetables to the garlic oil and turn up the heat, add the stock and cook until most of the stock water has evaporated, add the gnocchi and lemon zest, cooking through for a few minutes, season again to your taste. Add the parsley, parmesan and serve 🙂

 

 

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