A classic and authentic Italian dish made easy.
When it comes to creating authentic, classic and delicious Italian dishes from scratch, most of us are (unfortunately) deterred. It can be messy, strenuous, time-consuming and daunting. Until now, that is.
Renowned Australian chef and creator of premium Sydney restaurant Marque (now-closed), Mark Best, proves that creating a scrumptious classic Italian dish can be easily achieved at home regardless of your cooking expertise. In partnership with AEG, the foodie-mastermind is helping home-cooks transform their meals into comforting recipes by taking it back to basics: from how to knead dough to whipping up a fresh pesto sauce.
So, to help you devour your way through your next at-home dinner, Mark Best has shared his secret recipe on how to make the best Potato Gnocchi and Pesto. Mangiamo!
Cooking time: 1.5 hours | Difficulty: Medium | Servings: 4
FOR THE PESTO
1 bunch basil
½ cup pine nuts
1 cup grated parmesan
1 clove garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE GNOCCHI
4 medium Sebago potatoes, washed
1 ½ cups plain flour (with more for rolling)
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
TO MAKE THE PESTO
1. Using a dry pan, toast the pine nuts until they are golden. Set aside to cool.
2. Then, with a blender (or a pestle and mortar for a more traditional method), add the basil, toasted pine nuts, the finely chopped garlic, parmesan, pepper and oil. Blend until just combined, but with some texture.
3. Season to taste with more salt if required. Otherwise, add to the freshly cooked gnocchi to coat and then serve.
TO MAKE THE GNOCCHI
1. Using an AEG SteamPro Oven, place the potatoes in their jackets on full steam at 100 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until tender.
2. Whilst warm, peel the potato skins off. Next, using a strainer on top of a bowl, pass the potatoes through the strainer by using the back of a spoon to push through. Then add the flour, salt and beaten egg and gently mix with your hands until the dough comes together. Knead the mixture until it forms a smooth ball (Tip: don’t over mix or the gnocchi will be tough).
3. On a clean, floured surface, cut the dough into tennis ball-sized amounts. Roll each one into a long sausage at about 2-centimetres in diameter.
4. Using a pastry cutter or table knife, cut each sausage at 1-centimetre intervals. Dust with flour as required.
5. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and poach the gnocchi for 1-2 minutes or until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and move to a large bowl. Add the pesto and spoon of the cooking water and toss in the bowl to coat.
No Italian dish is complete without a glass of wine. Why not pair your Potato Gnocchi and Pesto with one of these 10 Australian Red Wines that pair seamlessly with winter. And to finish your night on a sweet note, try making this decadent Chocolate Mousse by Peter Gilmore.