Gorgonzola Gnocchi with Mushroom, Spinach and Parmesan Crisps


My favourite and my signature dish as MasterChef Australia contestant 2017. I still can’t believe I was chosen to be in the Top 24 for MasterChef. Gnocchi was the first dish that intrigued me as a child and it's still very close to my heart. It was a dish I knew I had to create and master! I've created gnocchi many times and the variations are endless. Your fingers are the best guide to perfect gnocchi and it’s not as scary as you think!

Serves 5-6

INGREDIENTS:

Gnocchi

Approx 1kg Desiree potatoes or other floury type potatoes

1 egg, lightly beaten

Approx 200-400g Tipo ‘00’ flour, extra for kneading and cutting surface

Pinch salt


Sauce

70g salted butter

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500g mixed mushrooms (eg: swiss, portobello & oyster), sliced

½ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp sea salt

100g fresh baby spinach

1 tsp ground nutmeg

300ml thickened cream

120-150g gorgonzola, dolce (as needed and to taste)


Parmesan Crisps

1 cup Aged Reggiano Parmesan, coarsely grated

1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 small clove crushed garlic

1 tsp lemon zest

¼ tsp ground black pepper


METHOD:

  1. Preheat Oven to 200°C

  2. Potatoes: Place potatoes in a medium saucepan of cold water, cover and bring to boil over med-high heat. When boiling reduce to medium heat. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Alternatively, pierce the potatoes all over with a fork and place on a tray over a layer of rock salt. Bake on 200˚C for 40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.

  3. Parmesan Crisps: While potatoes are boiling, gently combine the grated parmesan, parsley, garlic, lemon zest and black pepper. - Place silpat mat or baking paper onto two large oven trays. Take a tablespoonful of the parmesan mixture and fill a 6-8cm diameter ring as a guide and tap down gently to flatten slightly. Ensure there is plenty of space between each portion, approximately 2 inches apart. Bake in oven 4-5 minutes or until they turn light golden brown. Rest for 2 minutes then gently place on a cooling rack.

  4. Gnocchi: Place large saucepan of salted water on stovetop to start boiling. - In a large bowl, peel potatoes and put through a rice masher, add pinch of salt, egg, 200g sifted flour and gently mix through. Then slowly add additional sifted flour only as needed and gently mix together until the dough is very soft but cohesive. - Roll dough onto lightly floured surface, add little more flour if it still feels too sticky and lightly knead into an oval shape, do not over work the dough. Cut a quarter of the dough and roll out into a 2cm wide log, then cut into small 2-3cm diamond shapes. Sprinkle a very light layer of flour over the shapes and using a dough scrapper to gently flick each piece to separate and place onto a lightly floured tray. Repeat this process with the remaining dough. - To sync the timing with the sauce, place gnocchi into boiling salted water when adding the cream ingredient to the sauce, gnocchi will only take a few minutes to cook, they are done when they rise to the surface.

  5. Sauce: In a large frypan melt the butter and garlic over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms, stirring for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms have softened and slightly browned. - Add the black pepper, salt, spinach, nutmeg and cream, Heat through until the spinach has wilted, then add the gorgonzola until melted through and cream only slightly bubbling. - Carefully scoop out the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon into the sauce and mix through gently.

  6. To Serve: Plate a delicious amount of gnocchi on a plate and either place 2-3 parmesan crisps into a small side dish per serve or place parmesan crisps on top of gnocchi serve.

  7. Enjoy!

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