Give peas a chance with fresh and filling gnocchi, writes Dominic Jack as he gives us this wonderful recipe for Gnocchi with poached egg and pea velouté

  • 90
  • 4
  • Medium
This potato gnocchi is one of my favourite dishes on our spring menu at the moment. It’s deliciously fresh but also filling enough to keep your family or guests happy. Gnocchi often gets overlooked in the spring and summer months, but if it’s cooked to perfection it doesn’t have to be heavy and stodgy. It can taste light as a feather, with a little crisp crunch on the outside, and a light fluffy centre if you cook it in the right way. It doesn’t overpower the fresh spring flavours on the plate – it balances the dish flawlessly and adds depth to this pea velouté. Making gnocchi is a bit of an art, but it can be a lot of fun practising. Good quality, fresh potatoes are absolutely vital. You need to make sure they are floury – not too waxy and not too starchy. You also need to make sure they are as dry as possible once you’ve cooked them. This will make them fluffy and melt in the mouth. Once you’ve got the potatoes right, a fork and a little patience are the most important tools you’ll need for perfect gnocchi. Start making the dough when the potatoes are still hot as this is key to keeping them light and fluffy. Putting the flour through a fine sieve from a little height will also help you get some air into the dough. You don’t want to use too much flour so stick to the measurements, and you can try Italian 00 flour if you can get your hands on some. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can start to add different seasonal herbs, olives or cheese to the gnocchi for variety and flavour. Gnocchi is really easy to freeze and defrosted at room temperature too, so make up a big batch and marry with all those lovely flavours of spring.

Ingredients

  • Pea velouté
  • ½ onion – thinly sliced
  • 350g peas
  • ½ litre vegetable stock
  • Gnocchi
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 30g chopped basil
  • 4 baked potatoes
  • salt
  • 100g flour
  • chopped chives

Method

Gnocchi with poached egg and pea velouté

Pea velouté

Gently sweat down the sliced onion. Add 300ml of stock and bring to the boil. Add the peas. Place a lid on top and cook on a high heat for approximately 3 – 4 minutes until the peas are cooked (careful not to overcook as you want to keep the vibrant green colour). When cooked pour into a blender and mix until smooth. Add in stock if needed to get the correct consistency. Season to taste and pass through a sieve. Cool down over ice until required.

Gnocchi

Have a deep pot filled with salted water, almost boiling, ready to cook the gnocchi. Pierce the potatoes all over with a knife and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes at 180C/Gas Mark 4 (if possible bake on a tray of rock salt – it helps to draw out the moisture).

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Mix the egg, egg yolk and chopped basil together. When the potatoes are cooked, cut in half and scoop out the middle into a drum sieve. Pass the potato through the sieve using a flat plastic scraper.

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Add the egg mix to the potato and bind together with your hand. Season with a couple of pinches of salt. Gradually add in the flour, gently mixing it in with your hand (be careful not to over work). Add in extra flour if the mixture is slightly sticky.

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Roll the mix into 3cm cylinder tubes using a light dusting of flour. Cut the rolled gnocchi into even-sized pieces approximately 3cm in diameter. Roll into balls. Using the back of a fork, press the gnocchi down and fold over. Repeat this for all the balls, placing them on a chopping board when moulded. Blanch them in salted, simmering water. When the gnocchi float to the top of the water, gently take them out and place on a tray with holes and leave to cool. Lightly cover with olive oil.

For serving

Pan-fry each side until golden brown and place in the serving bowl.

Poached egg

Get a deep pan and fill full with water. Don’t add any salt, just vinegar. Bring to almost boiling point and drop the egg in. Cook for 2-3 minutes, depending on how you like your egg cooked. Garnish with chopped chives.

Potato galette

Thinly slice a potato and cut into rings using two different sized round cutters. Gently pan fry in vegetable oil until golden. Place on a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Garnish on top of the egg.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.