Pink Princess Gnocchi

Me: “What did you make with your play-doh darling?”
Amelia: “Pasta mummy!”
Me: “What kind of pasta? It looks like Gnocchi?”
Amelia: “Umm, YES Gnocchi pasta Mummy!”😍
That’s just given me an idea … leftover roasted beets in the back of the fridge + potato gnocchi dough = Princess Pink Gnocchi!!

beet gnochi inspiration

And so the Beetroot Gnocchi with Goat’s Cheese, Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Rocket dish was born. I love the combination of spicy rocket and creamy goat’s cheese for salads, pizzas or for something like this dish. With the temperatures soaring to hot-hot-hot in Dubai lately, I couldn’t decide if I was making a salad or cooking more of a hot pasta dish, so decided to combine the two, and I must say the results are wonderful. Served more at room temperature with the goat’s cheese and rocket tossed through at the last minute, it was the perfect Dubai summer entertaining all in one dinner dish. And the pink princess colour got the thumbs up from my two little princesses 🙂

The gnocchi dough was quite soft, but the thing is to not over work it. Add only as much flour as you need for it to come together away from the sides of the bowl. Turn it out onto a board and then you can start shaping your gnocchi.

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To roll out the dough, I divided it into 8 pieces and rolled each one into a long sausage shape.

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Cut the long sausages into 1.5cm pieces. Mine were probably a little bigger, but I didn’t want them falling apart in the water.

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And they got the princess stamp of approval from my two little princesses!IMG_6637

 

Beetroot Gnocchi with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Rocket and Goat's Cheese

  • Servings: 4 adults
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

~Slow Roasted Tomatoes~

  • 2 dozen cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 140oC. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet with baking paper. Nudge in the peeled garlic between the tomatoes. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in oven for approximately 45 minutes or until they are as soft and roasted as you like. The more you roast them, the more intense the flavour and the less you roast them, the more fresh and juicy they are. This step can be done ahead of time and keep the tomatoes in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.

~Beetroot Puree~

  • 1-2 medium beetroot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic clove (optional)

Preheat oven to 180oC. I always roast my beetroot, and when I’m doing them I normally do a few at a time to make it worthwhile. They take on an amazing flavour when roasted and if you have the oven on anyway for other things, you can just put them in the back of the oven and kind of forget about them…for a while at least.  You can roast and puree the beetroot ahead of time to make this recipe quicker.

To roast the beetroot, wash them and give them a good scrub. Don’t peel them, you’ll do that later once they are cooked. Place the beetroot on a sheet of tinfoil and add olive oil, water, salt and pepper. Add whole garlic clove now if you are using. Make sure the tinfoil is large enough to close up like a bag leaving enough air around the beets to let them steam.  Once you have sealed the tinfoil around the edges, place in a small ovenproof dish or tray to make it easier to get them in and out of the oven.

Roast in the oven for 1+ hours until they are soft enough to spear with a small sharp knife. One thing I’ve learnt about beetroot is you cook them, then cook them some more, and when you think they are done, cook them just a teeny bit more! Perfect. Once cool, peel skin off with a paring knife. You can keep them in the fridge for a few days like this in an airtight container and they are great on salads, wraps or sandwiches or add to risotto. Puree what you need for the Gnocchi recipe below.

~Gnocchi~

  • 2 tablespoons of beetroot puree (see above)
  • 1kg desiree potatoes
  • 200g-250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 10-12 sage leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 120g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 large handful of rocket
  • Slow roasted tomatoes (see above)

Cook the potatoes with their skins on until they offer no resistance to a skewer or the tip of a knife. Drain, then return them to the hot pan and allow them to steam-dry in the residual heat of the pan for 5 mins. You don’t want any extra moisture once you get going on the gnocchi. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and pass through a mouli or potato ricer, then add flour, egg yolks, salt and pepper and 1-2 tablespoons of the beetroot puree to the potato. The more beetroot puree you add, the more intense the colour but also the wetter the mixture! Compensate with a little more flour if necessary. I added approximately 2 tablespoons to my mixture. Without overworking the dough, knead lightly until it starts to come together as a ball of dough.

Dust a large tray or chopping board with flour. Divide your dough into 8 pieces. On a well-floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a long sausage shape until it is about as thick as your thumb. Cut into 1.5cm pieces and if you want a nice pattern, roll across the back of a fork. Then place on floured tray making sure they gnocchi don’t touch each other. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the sauce/toppings. If you don’t have fridge space for all these gnocchi, just make sure they are in cooler part of the kitchen and they are ok to rest on the bench as long as it’s not too long.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. The larger the better – the gnocchi need plenty of space to roll around in the water! At the same time heat a large frying pan with the butter, olive oil and half the sage leaves. Keep the rest of the sage leaves to fry until crispy and place on top just before serving. Keep the frying pan at low heat once the butter is melted. You could also add some finely chopped garlic to the pan at this point if you like!

Cook the gnocchi in small batches rolling them off a plate or board into the boiling water. As the gnocchi rise to the surface, lift them out using a slotted spoon or small strainer and add them to the frying pan. Toss gently in the sage butter until they are well coated.

Lift them into the serving dish and season with salt and pepper. Once all the gnocchi have been done, fry the remaining sage leaves in any butter/oil mixture left until crisp. Tear the goat’s cheese using your hands and scatter over the top of the gnocchi along with the rocket and slow roasted tomatoes. Garnish with crispy sage leaves and serve immediately.

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Enjoy! From our princesses to yours. x

 

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