- Prep Time
- Cook Time
- Difficulty Level Moderate
GNOCCHI CANNELLONI MARRIAGE
This pasta masterpiece is the marriage of gnocchi and cannelloni – aptly named, GNOCCOLONI! Invented in 2018 by Italian born (Australian) Masterchef contestant, Gina Ottaway, they are widely sought after and utterly delicious! Gina joined me in the kitchen to create these mezzaluna shaped morsels of pasta using the same ingredients as gnocchi, then stuffed them with a delectable ricotta and spinach filling which will melt in your mouth. You can’t miss this pasta invention – it’s an Italian dish recreated and it’s EVERYTHING.
4 large brush potatoes
4 garlic cloves
Water – to boil the pasta & the potatoes
2 x eggs
Parmesan Cheese (as much or as little as you like!)
Salt and Pepper
Medium size pot to boil the potatoes
Sharp cutting knife
Medium fry pan
- Wash and peel the potatoes well, then cut them into even, medium size pieces and leave them to boil in a pan filled with water.
- When the potatoes have come to a boil (you will normally see a foam start to form at the top of the water), use a fork and press it into one of the potatoes, to see if it is soft. If it goes through quickly and easily, take them straight off the boil and strain them well.
NONNA GINA’S TIP: Once strained, leave the potatoes in the sieve, place this over the top of the pot (letting it rest on the brim), and cover it with the lid, leaving a small gap for air to escape. Leave this aside for 15-20 minutes. This will remove any excess moisture and make sure your potatoes are nice and fluffy.
- Slice and chop the garlic cloves using a chopping board and sharp knife.
- Put a fry pan on medium heat and add a generous amount of EVOO, then add the spinach straight on top and season with a few pinches of salt and pepper too. Leave this to cool on your chopping board and chop it up finely.
- Scoop the ricotta into a large mixing bowl and crack an egg on top. Whisk this well and combine it into the mix as it will act as a binding agent for all the ingredients.
- Then, add a generous portion of shredded mozzarella, a big handful of parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and mix again.
- Finally, give the spinach one last chop, and add it into the bowl too, mixing it so that all the delicious flavours combine.
- Scoop out all the mixture into a piping bag so it is easier to fill your Gnoccoloni!
- Now, back to the potatoes! Remove the lid, and you will notice that some of the potatoes have a slightly white edge – this means they have steamed well. They should be lukewarm to touch.
- Get 2 handfuls of plain flour and put them into the centre of the chopping board. Make a well in the middle and put the potatoes through the ricer, making sure not to waste one bit!
- Once all the potatoes have been put through the ricer, make another well in the centre, crack an egg into the middle of it and start to blend all the ingredients together.
- Gently knead the gnocchi dough and if it feels sticky, add a small amount of flour at a time to get it to just the right consistency. Keep adding and kneading until you create a large “GNOCCO!”
NONNA GINA’S TIP: To test the gnocchi dough, press down using your finger and if it holds well, you’re on the right track!
- Sprinkle some flour to the side of your board, and leave the dough to rest.
- To start making the gnoccoloni, cut a small portion of dough from the larger piece and place flour underneath and on top, gently flattening it with your hands. Then, using a rolling pin, VERY GENTLY roll back and forth, turn it over and repeat. Always making sure there is enough flour, so it doesn’t stick.
- Once rolled out, use the cookie cutter to make round discs and begin to pipe a nice size amount of filling into the centre of each one.
- Gently fold over each morsel, joining them from edge to edge and pressing down delicately to seal the sides so you don’t make a hole in the dough.
- Sprinkle flour on to your board, placing each Gnoccolone on top, this will help prevent it from sticking to it.
HOW TO MAKE THE SAUCE
- Get fresh leaves of sage and put them into a pan, crisping them up using grapeseed oil. Then put these to the side.
- Put a fry pan on medium heat and add around 75g of butter, moving the pan around so the butter quickly melts and covers the base of it.
- Once the butter has melted, using a tablespoon, scoop some up and check if there are burnt bits at the bottom, if they are, your butter is ready!
HOW TO COOK THE GNOCCOLONI
- Bring a large pot of water to boil – don’t forget to add a handful of salt once it is boiling away.
- Gently place each Gnoccoloni into the pot and wait until they rise to the top. Once they do, drain them well and add them to the pan with the butter, then drop them in and lather them in butter.
HOW TO SERVE
Put the Gnoccoloni onto a flate plate, add a few sage leaves on top and sprinkle some pepper on them along with a few more drops of the delicious burnt butter…
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….enjoy!
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