From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
350g (12oz) potatoes, washed (such as Maris Piper)
100g (4oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g (3oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tblsp ricotta cheese
1 tblsp snipped fresh chives
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tblsp rapeseed oil
25g (1oz) butter
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6).
Boil or steam the potatoes in their skins until just cooked through. Drain and quickly peel them while they are still hot, wearing gloves.
Cut each potato into quarters and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes to dry them out, then mash until smooth - a potato ricer is best for this.
Mix the mashed potato with the flour, Parmesan, egg yolk, ricotta and chives and season to taste. Do not overmix or the gnocchi will be tough. Place the potato mixture on a plate and cover loosely with clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour, until firm.
Dust the work surface with flour. Using your hands, roll out the potato mixture into long cigar shapes about 1cm (1/2in) thick, then cut into 2.5cm (1in) lengths - you should end up with about 60 pieces in total.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the gnocchi in batches and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until they have risen to the top and are cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl of iced water while you cook the rest. This step is important for the texture of the gnocchi. When all the gnocchi are cooked, drain on kitchen paper.
Heat a frying pan with the oil over a medium heat. Add the butter and once it's foaming and lightly browned, add the gnocchi. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until light golden, turning regularly. Season lightly with salt and keep warm. Use as required.
Cook Ahead: The potato gnocchi can be made 24 hours in advance and even blanched, then left to cool completely and arranged on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Cover with clingfilm and chill until needed. Pan-fry as described, remembering that they will take a little longer if they’ve come straight from the fridge. They also freeze well.