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
zest or chunks of skin of a blood orange
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
For the first 9 years of my life I hated food and really loved sugar till Wimpy (British Fast Food chain) changed my life! These days, all grown up, I've junked junk food and spend my days and nights on a quest - to find and share the sweet, sweet nectar that's food in The #NewNigerianKitchen!
Dreaming, cooking, eating and writing...about and adoring a strong food community that's big and bold enough to embrace the world's diverse cuisines - I'm passionate about celebrating Nigerian cuisine in its entirety.
Why do I love food so? It is forgiving. Make a recipe. Have it go bad....but wake up tomorrow and you can have another go at succeeding! Only with food!