Pan-fried gnocchi with garden peas, buffalo mozzarella and Basil oil
If you find the thought of making homemade pasta daunting, gnocchi is a good stepping stone. You could use store-bought gnocchi, though, if you don't feel up to it.
Either way, the combination of golden gnocchi nuggets with creamy mozzarella, sweet garden peas and basil oil is a breath of summer air.
This makes a superb starter or a light supper.
YOU WILL NEED
For the gnocchi 500g floury potatoes, peeled (about 4 medium)
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 large egg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper For the basil oil 50g basil
200ml olive oil
Pinch of salt To finish 250g buffalo mozzarella
150g freshly picked garden peas
Handful of pea shoots, to garnish
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a fork. Take off the heat and drain.
Put the potatoes through a potato ricer, then add the flour, egg and a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Mix to a dough, then turn out on to a floured work surface and knead gently for two to three minutes.
Divide the dough into four and roll each piece into a sausage, about 50cm long. Cut each sausage into 15 pieces and, using the tines of a fork, press each piece gently to shape the gnocchi, leaving a dent from your thumb or finger on one side and fork marks on top. Place on a floured plate and continue to shape the rest.
Fry the gnocchi in a little bit of oil until golden brown.
To make the basil oil, put the basil in a hand blender and mix with the oil and some salt until smooth.
To serve, place half a mozzarella ball in the middle of the plate and arrange the gnocchi and peas around it. Top with the basil oil.