Cavolo Nero Gnocchi with Pecorino Romano
Another Polpo recipe - this time we were looking for a meat free option for our day per week when we try not to eat meat. I loved the sound of this cavolo nero pesto, and have always been intrigued by (but have never attempted) gnocchi instead of pasta as an alternative starch.
The recipe did not seem to complex, so I gave it a go - the recipe said 2 heads of cavolo nero, i actually bought bags of pre-shredded "Black Kale" 250g each if that helps. It made getting the woody stems out more difficult, but it was what was available at the time.
Making the gnocchi took a little (elapsed) time, as you had to wait for the potatoes to cool down after boiling them, but not too much intense hands on time. That said, the resultant gnocchi whilst light and pillowy as everyone says they should be, had a texture which all of us found unappealing - hence the score given. They were silky but had no resistance to bite - which is probably what they should be like, but we didn't like.
That said, the pesto was fantastic - sharp iron, vivid garlic and amazing green colour. It tastes like it looks. So taste good, but texture of gnocchi not. I would make the pesto and use it with Pasta and I think that would be a good 8.
500g white potatoes, sch as Maris Piper
about 130g plain flour
2 heads cavolo nero
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 handful grated parmesan
salt and pepper
EV olive Oil
Shaved pecorino romano
Boil the potatoes in their skins, but chopped to uniform size pieces. When just cooked, drain them and when cool enough to handle pull the skins off and leave them to cool completely
When the potatoes are cool, grate or rice them
Add the egg to the potato and about the same volume of flour. Knead to a dough, smooth and unsticky by adding more or less flour.
Roll into 1cm thick sausage and cut at 1cm intervals
Cook gnocchi in batches in boiling salted water. Skim them out when they rise to the surface shake free of water and put onto a large tray with a little olive oil to stop them sticking
Pull the woody stems off the cavolo nero, slice the leaves and blanch until tender, around 4 minutes. I used the same water from cooking the gnocchi. Refresh under cold water and squeeze excess water off.
Place the chopped leaves in a food processor with garlic, parmesan salt pepper and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse to combine, and add some of the cooking water to thin the sauce to a coating consistency.
Put the sauce in a wide pan, heat to simmering then add the gnocchi and stir gently to coat. When the gnocchi are warm, plate them up and scatter some pecorino romano shavings over them