RECIPE: Simon Moss's hand-rolled gnocchi with beurre noisette, peas, aged balsamic, ricotta and lemon

Thursday October 25 is World Pasta Day and getting into the spirit is Melbourne chef Simon Moss of the Grosvenor Hotel who has shared with foodservice his recipe for hand-rolled gnocchi with beurre noisette, peas, aged balsamic, ricotta and lemon.

SIMON MOSS' HAND-ROLLED GNOCCHI WITH BEURRE NOISETTE, PEAS, AGED BALSAMIC, RICOTTA AND LEMON
Serves 4-6

Potato gnocchi
700 g floury potatoes (Maris Piper, Exeter or desiree)
200 g Type 00 flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
20 g fine salt
50 g grated parmesan
Ice

Whipped ricotta
250 g ricotta
50 g extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Pasta sauce
1 batch of gnocchi
1 batch of whipped ricotta
100 g peas, freshly shelled or frozen
100 g unsalted butter
1 lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Pea shoots or rocket leaves
Grana Padano

METHOD

THE GNOCCHI

  • Steam the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  • Once steamed, leave to rest for 5 minutes to release moisture.
  • Place a large pot of salted water on the stove on high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Pass the potatoes through a ricer and place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the salt, parmesan, egg and yolk, and mix well with a rubber spatula.
  • Dust a flat surface with flour and place the potato mixture onto it.
  • Slowly add flour, “cutting” it into the potato using a pastry scraper or slicing with two knives, diagonally and concurrently.This is a good technique to use, so as not to overwork the gluten in the flour.
  • When the flour and potato are combined, knead the mixture into a smooth, elastic dough. This should be done with a light hand and takes 3-5 minutes.
  • Cut off large pieces of the dough and roll into long, sausage shapes, about 15 mm in diameter.
  • Slice the gnocchi into small pieces and place them on a flour-dusted tray, lined with baking paper.
  • Place the trays of gnocchi in the fridge to firm for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare bowl of ice water.
  • In batches, add the gnocchi to the boiling water and wait until they rise to the surface.
  • Once risen, cook for 1 more minute, then take them out with a strainer and place them in ice water.
  • Once all the gnocchi has been cooked and cooled, drain them well and mix a little olive oil through so that they don’t stick together.
  • Store in fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Note: All potatoes are different, and you may need to adjust the amount of flour accordingly.

THE WHIPPED RICCOTA

  • Place the olive oil and ricotta in blender.
  • Puree on high speed until well incorporated.
  • Scrape the ricotta into a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Mix well with a rubber spatula and set aside.

THE PASTA SAUCE

  • Heat a non-stick frying pan on low-medium heat.Once warm, add a splash of olive oil a nd add the pre-blanched gnocchi, spreading them evenly across the pan and begin to heat. Depending on the size of your pan, this may
    need to be done in batches.
  • Cook the gnocchi on both sides until golden brown on both sides - this should take about five minutes.
  • Turn the heat up to medium high - the gnocchi will start to get more colour, but be careful not to brown them too much.
  • Add butter - you want it to melt quickly and start to froth up a little. In this stage, the milk fat solids in the butter will caramelise to create a nutty flavour. Browning the butter will take about 3-5 minutes.
  • If using fresh shelled peas, cook for 2-3 minute in salted boiling water and then refresh in ice water.
  • Once the butter is browned, remove the pan from the heat and add the cooked peas and lemon juice, to taste. This will deglaze the bottom of the pan and incorporate residual flavours, as well as preventing the butter from getting too brown.
  • Using a large spoon, divide the gnocchi into serving bowls - make sure to get every last drop of the beurre noisette.
  • Add small dollops of whipped ricotta onto the gnocchi, followed by a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
  • Place pea shoots or rocket leaves on top.
  • Finish each plate with a generous grating of Grana Padano.

Simon Moss is the head chef of St Kilda's Grosvenor Hotel. For further information, please visit grosvenorhotel.com.au.