I used to make gnocchi with regular potatoes but when I started to think about a recipe for this contest, the idea for sweet potato gnocchi popped into my head... brilliant! I thought being all happy with myself. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I found out that I am not going to amaze the world with this invention but that it actually is a known combination, how naive. Nevertheless it is a recipe worth sharing, making gnocchi is a lot of fun and the chestnut pesto is delicious (can I claim that one or did I live under a stone up until now). —Janneke Verheij
chestnuts in peel
squeeze of lemon
pepper and salt
1 1/2 - 2 cups
00 Flour (it also works with all purpose flour if you don't have this)
Cut a cross in the flat side of the chestnut and put them in water for 20 minutes. Put the chestnuts cross side up on a baking tray and slide in the oven until the edges of the cross curl up.
Let them cool only slightly and peel them. If they are cold they are hard to peel so just warm them a bit up when they cooled down to make the work easier.
Put them in a kitchen machine with the Parmesan, walnuts, parsley and olive oil. Grind into a coarse pesto, it should not be a smooth paste. Season with pepper, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Cook the potatoes in their skin in boiling water until soft; peel off the skin and mash them slightly. Spread them out on a baking tray and put them in the oven for 5 minutes to dry them out a bit, make sure they don’t brown. You just want them to lose some water.
Prepare a clean worktop to knead on and baking paper to put the gnocchi on when formed. Press the potato through a sieve and make a pile on your worktop. Make a well in the middle and incorporate the egg, nutmeg and salt.
Now we have to work a bit fast; we don’t want to over-knead the dough because then it becomes sticky again. Start adding flour in batches and knead until the mixture is not sticky anymore.
Divide it in three and roll them out into long snakes. Cut the snake into gnocchi the size you like and place them on the baking sheet. You can now form them into little egg shapes, make edges with a fork or twist them around their axe to make a nice curl if you like.
Boil water in a big pan and cook the gnocchi until they start floating on the surface. Mix them with the pesto and serve with some grated Parmesan on top.