I have always wanted to make gnocchi – it has been one of those things on my food bucket list for a long time now. It takes a little while but it well-worth the effort, and I’ll definitely do it again! But you can always just use the ready made gnocchi if you don’t have the time and this recipe will still taste just as good.
For the gnocchi
10 oz (275 g) King Edward potatoes (about 2 medium-sized potatoes)
3½ oz (95 g) plain flour, sifted, plus a little extra for rolling
1 large egg, lightly beaten
salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the squash
450g butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp olive oil
500g pack gnocchi
200g young leaf spinach
100g goat’s cheese
1. First place the potatoes, with their skins on, in a suitably sized saucepan, almost cover with boiling water, add some salt, then put a lid on and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until tender.
2. Then drain well and, holding them in your hand with a tea cloth, quickly pare off the skins using a potato peeler. Then place the potatoes in a large bowl and, using an electric hand whisk on a slow speed, start to break the potatoes up, then increase the speed and gradually whisk until smooth and fluffy. Now let them cool.
3. Next, add the sifted flour to the potatoes, along with half the beaten egg, season lightly and, using a fork, bring the mixture together. Then, using your hands, knead the mixture lightly to a soft dough – you may need to add a teaspoonful or so more of the egg if it is a little dry.
4. Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface, flour your hands and divide it into quarters. Now roll each quarter into a sausage shape approximately ½ inch (1 cm) in diameter, then cut it, on the diagonal, into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces, placing them on a tray or plate as they are cut (but don’t stack them as they will stick together!). Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes, but longer won’t matter.
5. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Tip the squash into a roasting tin with the garlic and oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Roast for 20 mins, shaking the pan halfway through, until tender and golden.
6. To cook the gnocchi, firstly bring a large, shallow pan of approximately 6 pints (3.5 litres) of water to a simmer. Then drop the gnocchi into the water and cook for about 3 minutes; they will start to float to the surface after about 2 minutes, but they need 3 altogether.
7. With a few seconds to go, throw in the spinach, then drain the gnocchi and spinach together. Tip into the roasting tin, then mix everything together well, mashing the softened garlic. Spoon onto warm serving plates, then crumble over the cheese to serve.