These melt-in-your-mouth potato dumplings are Italy's answer to comfort food, transforming simple mashed potato into creamy, bite-sized nuggets offset by a flavoursome tomato sauce. We've made this recipe vegan to suit all tastes, and although there are several steps involved, it is actually incredibly simple to prepare. You can make the potato dumplings while the tomato sauce is cooking - and don't worry about making each gnocchi look perfectly uniform; the beauty of this dish is all in its garlic and herb-packed flavour. Buon appetito!
•4 garlic cloves, crushed
•1/2 onion (approx 60g), chopped
•2 teaspoons olive oil or rapeseed oil
•tin of chopped tomatoes (450g)
•fresh basil, 4 leaves + garnish
•1 teaspoon dried oregano
•1 teaspoon dried thyme
•1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
•1 bay leaf
•salt to taste
•450g potatoes, ideally Orla or Désirée
•175g plain flour, or type 00 such as that used to make pasta
For the sauce:
1.Sauté the crushed garlic and chopped onion in oil for around 5 minutes
2.Add the tinned tomatoes, herbs and seasoning to the pan. Lower the heat and simmer gently for around 20 minutes
3.Remove the bay leaf, then purée the sauce in a food processor or with a stick blender
For the gnocchi:
1.While the sauce is cooking, peel and quarter the potatoes, then boil them in salted water for around 15-20 minutes until soft.
2.Drain the potatoes into a bowl and mash.
3.Sprinkle the flour over the mashed potato, stirring to mix the two ingredients to form a dough.
4.Divide the dough into three pieces, and roll out on a flat surface into sausage shapes, approximately 2cm thick. Cut slices off each rolled section, and gently press grooves into each gnocchi with a kitchen fork (this is to provide some texture for the sauce to cling to, but is not essential).
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