The earthy flavours of chestnut work so well with sage and creamy blue cheese. This dish is joyfully rich, so portions are on the smaller side – crispy halved brussels sprouts or torn kale leaves would be a delicious addition.
To get ahead, cook the gnocchi in advance and chill on a tray, covered, in the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat them through in the pan with the sauce. If you don’t need the gnocchi to be gluten free, sub in regular plain flour; you might just need a little less of the egg.
Prep time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
For the gnocchi:
750g fluffy potatoes (raw weight)
100g gluten free plain flour
50g chestnut flour
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
35g unsalted butter
Small bunch sage, leaves picked
100g cooked whole chestnuts
100ml white wine
200ml double cream
125g creamy blue cheese, cut into pieces
Flaky salt, to serve
Heat your oven to 220°C, 200°C fan, gas mark 7. Bake the potatoes for around 1 hour – 1 hour 15, or until they’re golden on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. While still warm, cut the potatoes in half and scrape the filling into a sieve over a bowl (I like to spread a little butter over the skins and eat – chef’s treat). Push the potato through the sieve – you’re looking for around 325g of cooked potato.
Moving quickly, so that the potato stays warm, sieve the flours over the potato, add the nutmeg and season the mix well with salt and pepper. Crack and whisk the egg then add to the bowl. Bring everything together with a wooden spoon and then your hands to form a soft dough. Try not to overwork the mix to ensure your gnocchi stays light. Carefully divide the dough into four.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a generous amount of salt. Have a large frying pan ready.
Roll each quarter into a sausage shape, about 2cm wide. Cut the dough into roughly 2cm pieces and gently press the longer edges with your thumb and forefinger to soften the shape. They should look like little pillows.
Prepare the sauce by adding the butter and sage leaves to the frying pan and placing over a medium heat. Crumble over the chestnuts and sauté for a couple of minutes, until the sage leaves are crisp and the chestnuts are warmed through. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pan and put to one side.
Add the wine to the pan and allow it to bubble and evaporate for a couple of minutes, then add the cream and a small squeeze of lemon. Season with a little salt – remember the blue cheese will be salty – and a generous amount of black pepper.
Meanwhile, add the gnocchi to the boiling water (you might need to do this in two batches) and cook for about a minute and a half, or until they start floating to the surface. Once they’ve reached the surface, cook for another 45 seconds, then using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the pan with the sauce. If a little cooking water comes with them that’s good too.
Crumble the blue cheese over the sauce covered gnocchi and stir to encourage it to melt. Spoon the gnocchi onto a serving platter and then spoon the chestnuts and sage leaves on top. Finish with a final sprinkle of flaky salt, if you like.
Recipe from www.seasonalspuds.com