On some cold nights, nothing else cuts it other than carby dumplings in a hearty bowl of stew. But since they’re not the leanest, however irresistable they are, gnocchi also gives me that same warm fuzzy feeling inside.
If you’ve never tried them before, they’re little pasta dumplings and gosh, they aren’t half soothing to eat. You can buy them ready made, but they’re also actually much easier to make than you think.
But mine have a little secret that’s been all hush hush until now. I make them with oats instead of flour (mixed together with potatoes by the way).But to spice up this Italian dish, I’ve been working with a new type of potato called Cypriot New Potatoes which are part of the Spunta variety.
These lucky things have been grown in the sun soaked island of Cyprus in rich red soil and are perfect for boiling, steaming, roasting and baking. In fact, I’m already working on a new Beef Bourguignon with them in my slow cooker. It’s smelling lovely as I type…
And the preparation with these potatoes is minimal. No peeling prep is required; just a quick wash in cold water. But for the purpose of this recipe, we’ll need to boil them (in their skins) to stop excess moisture getting in and peel them shortly after because gnocchi needs to be extreeeeemely smooth.But as easy as gnocchi is to make, there’s one things that’s a bit of a bummer. It’s messy. I wouldn’t like to make it away from a sink, that’s for sure. And even trickier to press record on your camera to try and get the perfect shot!
Surprisingly though, the Cypriot New Potatoes weren’t as sticky to work with. And the dough wasn’t too stiff either which meant less need for dusting while kneading. Don’t let “kneading” scare you though, you just need to to combine well and start rolling it in to sausages before cutting in to bite size chunks.
I’m sure little ones wouldn’t say no to getting stuck in while you manage the pan with boiling water. Deal?Making the dough though is actually the most time you’ll spend on this dish. Cooking them takes about a minute or two. Just pop them in some salted boiling water and wait for them to float before scooping them out.
So once you’ve made them, all you have to do is stir them in to your own pasta sauce (or a soup you’ve just cooked?) But if you’re a bit stuck, I’ll show you a delicious quick and healthy green pesto if you want to give it a whirl.
If you do want to turn these potatoes in to gnocchi, then they are exclusively available in Tesco until the end of March.
Recipe – Serves 4
- 500g of potatoes with the skins left on (I used Cypriot New Potatoes from Tesco)
- 160g porridge oats, blended *(Each person’s healthy extra between 4 people)
- 1 egg
- Seasoning if you wish
Pesto (1.5 Syns Between 4)
- Large bunch of basil
- 4 tbsp grated parmesan (1.5 syns between 4)
- 100g quark
- 100ml veg stock
- 2 garlic cloves
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- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the potatoes in their skins for about 15 minutes or however long until they start to flake.
- Once cooked, drain them and place them in a large bowl of cold water to make them cool enough to handle for peeling.
- Discard the skins and mash until smooth and set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, blitz the oats until fine. If you wish to sieve them, feel free but I don’t bother.
- Pour almost all of the oats in to the mash, holding back some for dusting and crack in an egg to the potato mix and roughly combine with a fork.
- Now start squishing it together with your hands until combined and then transfer it to a clean work surface for some kneading.
- Don’t worry about kneading perfectly, you just want it smooth with no lumps (you can watch my video here 1:59 in if you’re nervous).
- Then dust the surface, pinch big chunks of the dough and roll them in to sausages and cut them in to 2.5cm chunks.
- Place them in to a fresh pan of salted boiling water and cook for around 2 minutes (you can tell they’re done once they float to the top) and scoop them out.
- If you’re making the pesto, just blitz everything together and pour over the gnocchi and serve!
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Cypriot New Potatoes, exclusively available in Tesco stores.