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Author Notes: I've recently started making gnocchi at home. In Nigeria, we eat a lot of plantains - boiled, baked and fried and last weekend, I made gnocchi of them with chilli and chocolate centres, as a dessert (recipe on my blog). Today, I decided to try it with the feta cheese and mint...for a savoury version. The secret to light and flavoursome gnocchi is the careful addition of flour. Add too much too soon and overknead, you'll have doughy, rock-hard gnocchi because of the gluten development. This is more likely to happen with all purpose flour. I have used Italian Tipo 00 flour instead, which has less gluten than regular flour. I also ensure that I add the flour slowly..... —Kitchen Butterfly
ripe plantains, soft with yellow-back skin
egg, lightly beaten
1- 1 1/2
cups Tipo 00 (or all-purpose) flour
Salt, to taste
tablespoons Feta cheese
tablespoon zest or chunks of skin of a blood orange
tablespoon chopped mint
Extra flour, to dust
- Wash the plantains, and leave them in their skins. Gently run a knife down one side, from top to bottom, splitting the skin but not taking it off.
- Cut each plantain into 3-4 pieces and put in a pan with water and salt to boil.
- Boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from the pan, draining off water. Discard the skins and mash the flesh with a potato masher in a medium bowl. (I have made them passing the plantains through a ricer...and while I made an amazing plantain noodle discovery....it did nothing for the finished texture of the gnocchi!)
- Let the mixture cool down for a few minutes. Lightly flour a clean surface and place the plantain mixture on it. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg. Gently combine egg and plantains with a fork
- Spread dough out and begin to sprinkle flour slowly, gently kneading till the mixture if soft but not sticky. Whatever you do, DO NOT add all the flour at once.
- Now add the feta cheese, blood orange zest and chopped mint to the dough and combine well
- Tear off a portion, roll it out into a long sausage, about an inch or less in diameter. Then using a knife, cut of small portions about an inch long.
- When you're done, mark with a fork or make a small depression in the centre.
- If you don't want to cook all straight away, place some in a single layer in a pan, cover with clingfilm or foil paper and deep freeze. When frozen remove to a ziploc and use from frozen.
- If cooking immediately, place a pan of water to boil. Salt it and when the water is boiling, give it a good stir and then add the gnocchi. Try not to overcrowd the pan. The gnocchi will sink to the bottom but after a few minutes, they should rise. They are ready when they float - 4 - 5 minutes.
- Remove them from the water using a slotted spoon and serve with a tomato sauce/passata, garnished with mint. Enjoy
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dish with Blood Oranges, Feta and Mint