Gnocchi with Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil


Ingredients (serves 4)

For the sauce:

Olive Oil

1 Large sweet white onion

2 X 400g Tinned chopped tomatoes

A handful of fresh basil leaves

2 Buffalo Mozzarella balls (drained and torn into pieces)

A handful of freshly grated parmesan

Salt and Pepper

For the gnocchi:

600g floury potatoes

2 eggs, beaten

1 egg yolk

200g plain flour

It’s possible to buy delicious readymade gnocchi from your local deli or supermarket, but it’s also easy enough to roll up your sleeves and make your own.

To make the gnocchi, cook the potatoes (unpeeled) in a large saucepan of boiling water for 25 minutes. When they’re tender, drain well and cool slightly. Peel the potatoes and press them through a potato ricer into a bowl. While they’re still slightly warm, add a couple of pinches of salt, the eggs and flour. Mix the ingredients together and then turn them out onto a floured surface. Knead lightly until it becomes a sticky dough. It’s important not to over-knead, as this may cause the gnocchi to be tough.

Cut the dough in half and roll each piece into a long sausage. Cut into 2 or 3 cm pieces, pressing each piece with a fork. Then lay them out on a floured tea towel.

Heat a big glug of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the chopped onion at medium heat, until soft and translucent. Add the basil and chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes or so, remembering to stir the sauce every few minutes.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pan of boiling water for just two minutes. When they float to the surface they’re ready. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the pan of tomato sauce. Add the torn pieces of mozzarella and gently stir the mixture over a medium heat for around 30 seconds, until the mozzarella has melted slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, with a sprinkle of Parmesan and fresh basil leaves to garnish.