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 a drizzling of flavoured butter is a breath of summer air. This makes a superb starter or a light supper.

Ingredients

  • For the gnocchi:
  • 500 g Floury potatoes, preferably rooster, peeled, about 4 medium
  • 200 g Plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 Large egg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • To finish:
  • 150 g Garden peas (preferably freshly picked and podded)
  • 100 g Flavoured butter
  • 2 x 125 g balls buffalo mozzarella
  • Handful of rocket, and some basil leaves, to garnish

Method

  • 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 then 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 onto a floured work surface and knead gently for 2-3 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.
  • Put on a floured plate and continue to shape the rest.
  • Heat a large non-stick frying pan and fry the gnocchi in a little bit of oil in batches until golden brown, turning once. Keep warm while you cook the remainder.
  • To make the basil oil, put the basil leaves in a hand blender (discarding the stalks) and mix with the olive oil and salt until smooth.
  • Blanch the peas in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  • Drain and quickly refresh under cold running water.
  • Melt the flavoured butter gently in a small saucepan.
  • To serve, place half a mozzarella ball in the middle of each warmed serving plate, sprinkle the gnocchi and blanched peas around.
  • Drizzle a little flavoured butter over each one and garnish with the pea shoots to serve.