Gnocchi Parmasana with rich tomato sauce

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This is an approximate recipe for the potato gnocchi dish served at our 'Amarone Tasting' - remember if anyone wants recipes for any of the dishes served instore I would be happy to type them out for you as I make them all myself.

Potato Gnocchi is quite easy to make and very tasty.  You can serve it with any number of different kinds of sauces, if you serve it plain by itself it will tend to stick together so needs at minimum a light butter sauce (like melted butter with a dash of dried sage and lemon zest) or like this version with a rich tomato base sauce.  If using a tomato sauce, make this first & very early as the best flavoured tomato sauces enjoy a long slow simmer & the gnocchi is very quick to make.  

Gnocchi is always best when served fresh.  The dough can be made the day before and kept in the fridge but will discolour and will need more flour when rolling it out anyway.  More on that in a moment!

1 kg floury potatoes 

approx 1.5 cup of regular flour & extra flour

1/2 cup of parmasana reggiano 

1T Olive oil

salt & pepper to taste


Start by peeling the potatoes and chopping into small chunks.  Boil the potato chunks until soft, add the Tablespoon of olive oil and mash until totally smooth.  Any lumps will make the gnocchi lumpy too.  Allow to cool for a few minutes, in the mean time lighly cover your benchtop with a layer of flour.  Keep a cup of flour on the bench space so that it's easy to scoop more out with your hands as the dough will be very sticky on your hands.  

Spoon the mashed potato onto the floured benchtop, and add about half the  flour and knead it into the potato mash by hand, adding more flour and continuing to knead until it stops sticking.  It should be quite spongy in texture without being dry or cracked.  Add the parmasan and seasoning and ensure it is kneaded to spread the cheese evenly through the dough.

Roll the dough out into long sausage shapes, about 2-3cm in diameter.  Slice them into small bite sized chunks, rolling each individual gnocchi into the spare flour to coat them all over.

Put the little gnocchi chunks into boiling water in small batches so that they don't crowd together.  These will cook very quickly- when you first put them in they will sink to the bottom, as soon as they float to the top they are done - this will only take around 2 minutes.  Once done, mix with your preferred sauce and serve immediately.  


Rich Tomato Sauce Recipe

There are two keys to a great tomtato based pasta or gnocchi sauce- firstly is the saute of the onions and garlic at the very start, the other is to cook the sauce slowly for as long as you can over a slow heat to build a great depth of flavour.  

1.5 medium onions, sliced thinly

3 cloves garlic, chopped thinly 

3 Tablespoons olive oil

500ml tomato passata (tomato puree)

1 can chopped tomatoes  

Green herbs & spice to taste (oregano, basil, black pepper) 

Heat 2T of olive oil in a pan and fry the onions quickly, stirring regularly for 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat and continue to stir until soft but not coloured.  Add the chopped garlic and cook through for a few more minutes until garlic softens.  Do NOT allow the garlic to brown or the entire sauce will have a bitter twist to it.  Add the tomato passata, chopped tomatoes and herbs, salt & pepper.  Allow it to come up to heat for a few minutes then reduce the heat to a very low simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If more liquid is needed add a little warm water.  To thicken, add tomato paste.

Stir through the last of the olive oil, taste and re-season with salt & pepper if needed.  Allow to cool slightly, and mix through your gnocchi.  Serve and enjoy!


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