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.
- 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
- 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.