As we head into autumn, all things cosy start to enter our minds. Cosy meals especially. We get our fresh fruit and vegetables delivered every fortnight from the amazing guys at Suncoast Fresh in Coolum, and it's such a creative way to think about what meals we'll make and what recipes we can come up with because every delivery has different produce. This week, Jason was drawn to the potatoes and beautiful vine tomatoes, and decided to make Fresh Tomato and Basil Gnocchi. It is a very simple homemade passata based recipe with few ingredients, which is at the heart of Italian cooking. It's honestly the best gnocchi I've had in my life. And, now that we're all spending a bit more time at home, why not try to make it yourself this weekend. It's very easy, you'll see! Read on for the ingredients and method.
- 8 vine ripened tomatoes
- 80 ml olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced finely or chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
- A handful basil leaves torn off the vine
- Freshly ground black pepper to season
For the gnocchi:
- 1 kg Potatoes scrubbed clean with higher starch content, such as Kipfler or Desiree potatoes. Leave the potato skin on.
- 200g plain flour
- 3 Tsp salt
- 100g Finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Lightly beaten egg
- Begin with making the sauce. Remove the stems from the vine ripened tomatoes and score the skins all the way around so the line divides the tomato in half.
- Place the tomatoes in a large clean bowl and cover them with boiled water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Then cool the tomatoes a little first under some cold water and using your hands, squeeze to crush the tomatoes. This can get a bit messy if you're not careful but that's all part of the fun! Set aside.
- In a wide frying pan, heat the olive oil and briefly cook the garlic until you can smell it. You don't want to cook the garlic till it's coloured.
- Add the tomatoes and salt, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened.
- Turn heat off, add fresh basil leaves to retain the leaves vibrant colour and flavour. Add more sea salt, pepper and chilli flakes (if desired) to taste.
- Now onto the gnocchi. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, then drain the water. Make sure not to over boil your potatoes as they will retain a lot of water and will make your gnocchi tough and chewy.
- Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the potatoes to cool slightly, then using a tea towel peel the skin off each potato. Mash potatoes with a fork then push through a sieve, if you have one. If you don't, simply mash the potatoes as much as you can until you get a smooth texture.
- Mixthe flour, salt and parmesan in another large bowl.
- Add the potato and lightly beaten egg to the flour, as well as the salt and parmesan, then squeeze gently until the ingredients are just combined. The texture should feel very soft, but it shouldn’t stick to your hands.
- Dust your kitchen bench with flour, break off a small portion of the dough and gently roll into 1 cm diameter sausages. Cut off 2cm to 3cm sections with a knife (depending on how small or big you like your gnocchi), and roll them in in extra flour to prevent sticking. Set aside until you've cut all your gnocchi.
- In a large pot, boil at least 2L of salted water and gradually toss the gnocchi into the boiling water. Don't put all of the gnocchi in at once. Once the gnocchi is cooked, it will float to the top of the surface. As this happens, scoop them out with a spoon and place into the tomato and basil sauce.
- Then serve! Add a sprinkle of grated parmesan if you desire.