After trying beetroot gnocchi at a top quality restaurant close to Mount Warning in New South Wales, Australia, I was determined to try and create something similar. So here goes.
Beetroot Gnocchi Recipe
- 2 lb floury potatoes Harmony. Crown, King Edward, or Pentland to name a few – approximately 4 medium large ones, peeled and chopped
- 12 oz boiled beetroot approximately 3 medium size, peeled and chopped
- 9 oz flour plus a little extra for flouring board
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large egg
- 7 oz white button mushrooms – or mushroom of your choice – sliced thin
- 1 heaped tablespoon flour
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 splashes of truffle oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place potatoes in pot with water and salt bring to the boil.
- When tender drain water, return potatoes to pot and place back on the heat to ensure all extra water has evaporated off.
- Remove from heat and mash potatoes until smooth – adding only pepper and salt to taste.
- Take the boiled beetroot that has been peeled and chopped and place it into a food processor and blend to a puree.
- Pass beetroot through a sieve, add to mashed potato, and mash again.
- In a mixing bowl place the flour, add the beaten egg and the potato/beetroot mix and mix to form a dough.
- Bring the large pot with water to the boil.
- Sprinkle a board with flour, place some flour on your hands and divide dough into 5 or 6 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long sausage shape.
- Once rolled cut the rolls of dough with a sharp knife into pieces roughly ½ an inch thick.
- Place the gnocchi, around 15 at a time into the pot of boiling water, ensuring they do not land on top of each other but are distributed around the base of the pot – they will naturally sink to the bottom.
- Once they cook they will rise to the top of the water and you can take them out with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander.
- While you are doing this set a sauté pan on medium high and add the butter for the sauce as well as a splash of truffle oil.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and fry gently. When almost done remove the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside, leaving the remaining butter and juices in the pan.
- Add ½ a cup of milk to the pan and heat.
- Mix the heaped tablespoon of flour with ½ the cup of milk to make a smooth paste.
- Stir the paste into the heated milk and mix to form a smooth sauce. If it is a little stiff, add a little more milk.
- Return the mushrooms to the sauce, stirring gently to finish cooking.
- Add salt and pepper to taste – you may want to add another splash of truffle oil for taste.
- In-between doing this you will have been adding more gnocchi to the pot in batches and taking out those that have risen to drain in the colander.
- Assemble the meal by placing the sauce on the plate then adding the gnocchi.
- Decorate the plate with a smear of coriander pesto (link to recipe), arrange a little roasted red pepper for color (link to recipe) and a teaspoon of caramelized onion (link to recipe) and dust gnocchi with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
- Coriander pesto,
- Roasted red pepper,
- caramelized onion,
- or a little sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese
The truffle oil you buy is made by infusing a light oil with pieces of truffle adding a luxurious element of expensive French truffles. Although truffles are grown commercially it is a difficult undertaking as they grow underground in a symbiotic relationship between the truffle, the soil, the roots of specific types of tree and the climate.
All the elements have to be just right for the truffles, which look like small potatoes, to grow. Chefs around the world are prepared to pay huge sums for these elusive fungi, traditionally located by specially trained pigs and dogs that have a keen sense of smell.
As a child I wanted to grow up and marry a farmer… simply because it was so different from my life right on the shores of the ocean. Well, I didn’t marry a farmer but a surfer instead. The urge, however, to grow stuff and make great food for a big family never left. We are on acreage with a sea view and easy access to fresh caught crayfish and other seafood – the best of both worlds. As an artist and writer I enjoy creating new recipes, tweaking traditional ones, and sharing the results not only with family and friends, but online.