Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Basil Gnocchi With Tomato Sauce And Mozzarella

For the sauce
1 tin Italian chopped tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme, leaves only
pinch of crushed chillies
1/2 ball of mozzarella, chopped into small cubes
freshly grated Parmesan
For the gnocchi
100g waxy potatoes such as red skins or new potatoes, peeled and diced
small bunch fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
75g plain flour
salt and pepper
To make the gnocchi, boil the potatoes, with the skins on for 10-15 minutes until tender then drain and cool for a couple of minutes. Once cool eneough to handle, peel the skins from the potatoes and then mash in a bowl or put through a ricer thoroughly so you have smooth texture. Add the basil, plenty of salt and black pepper and the flour then using a wooden spoon or your hands, bring together to make a firm dough.
Knead the dough gently for a couple of minutes then roll out into sausages about 1cm thick. Cut the sausages into small dumplings about 2 - 3cm long.
In a pan gently fry the shallot, garlic, herbs, chillies in a little olive oil, without colouring and salt and black pepper. Then add the tomatoes, and a splash of water. Bring to the boil, the reduce to a gentle simmer for at least an hour until thickened.
Cook the gnocchi in a pan of simmering, salted water for a minute or two until they rise to the surface. Scoop them out as they rise, then add to the tomato sauce and toss together well.
Serve topped with the diced mozzarella and grated Parmesan.

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