Potato gnocchi with brown butter, tarragon & hazelnuts


Serves 2

300g Maris Piper potatoes (2-3 medium sized potatoes)
100g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
a knob of butter
a small handful of toasted, chopped hazelnuts
a few sprigs of fresh tarragon, chopped
30g Parmesan, finely grated

  • Put the potatoes, whole and unpeeled, in a saucepan of boiling water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender but not too soft. Drain well. Pick each potato up in a tea towel and peel it with a potato peeler.
  • Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer (or use a potato masher) into a large mixing bowl. Agitate the potatoes with a fork to ensure that they’re light and fluffy and there are no thick clumps, letting them cool slightly.
  • Sprinkle the flour through a sieve over the potatoes. Using the fork, briefly mix the flour in.
  • Add half the beaten egg then, again using the fork, bring the mixture together.
  • Using your hands, knead the mixture lightly against the side of the bowl until you have a soft dough. Add a little bit more beaten egg if the mixture is too dry.
  • Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface, flour your hands and divide the mixture into quarters. Roll each quarter into a sausage shape around 1½ cm in diameter. Cut the dough into 1½ cm lengths.
  • Making sure the gnocchi are all lightly dusted in flour, press each piece with the back of a fork or roll it down a grooved, wooden gnocchi board. (This will help to trap the sauce). Cover and chill until ready to cook but ideally no longer than two hours in advance.
  • Bring a large, deep saucepan of water to the boil. Drop half the gnocchi into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. They will start to float to the surface after about 1½ minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a warm dish before cooking the remaining batch. (They’re best done in batches because if you crowd the pan, the water temperature will drop and the gnocchi won’t cook properly and could fall apart.)
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it separates and is starting to turn light brown. Then add the hazelnuts for 30 seconds or so before adding the tarragon and cooking for a further 30 seconds. Divide the gnocchi into warmed serving bowls, drizzle with the hot butter mixture, sprinkle liberally with freshly grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

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