For this Autumnal recipe, I used a potato ricer - the quickest route to great results when making gnocchi. Ricers are also, of course, perfect for fluffy and silky mashed potatoes. Use your ricer for sweet potatoes or pumpkin the next time you make a pie, for mashed cauliflower or even for a smooth tomato sauce; press tomatoes through the ricer and the skin will remain behind.
For the gnocchi dough:
- 1 kg potatoes
- 1 egg
- 200g plain flour
For the sauce:
- 600g mushrooms (I used a mix of Chestnut and Button)
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh sage
- 100g pancetta
- red chilli (optional)
- 100g grated parmesan
- salt & pepper
Wash the potatoes and cook in a large pan of boiling salted water until tender. When they’re done, drain, peel and then mash them using a potato ricer on a clean work surface.
Taste and season with sea salt and add the egg to the potato mixture.
Fill a big pot with salted water and place on a high heat.
Put the garlic, chilli and mushrooms into a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-low heat with 2 tablespoon of olive oil, stirring occasionally and let it cook for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the crispy pancetta in the oven, laying the slices on a non stick baking tray and let it cook at 200 C for about 10 mins or until crisp.
Use your hands to incorporate the flour with the potato then shape the dough into a long cigar shape about 1.5cm /2cm thick. Using a knife, cut each length of dough into 2cm pieces to make individual gnocchi.
Once they’re all done, drop into the boiling water for 2 minutes, or until they float.
Cut the sage leaves and add to the sauce, then use a slotted spoon to add the gnocchi straight into the frying pan. Finely grate over most of the Parmesan and toss well. Add a little bit of gnocchi cooking water to emulsify the sauce.
Taste, season with salt and pepper, then dish up. Grate over the remaining Parmesan, garnish with the remaining sage and the crispy pancetta, finish with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.