Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Nanny Savino's gnocchi recipe

baked gnocchi

Oh you need some warm hearty cheesy food right now don't you? Oh yeah baby it's cold outside.
I can't myself. I've gone vegan. Just for a bit mind. I'm writing a book on vegan food and for the duration, yes this is my Stanislavsky method cookbook writing, I'm not eating any animal products.
I'm doing a DeNiro in Raging Bull. Except I hope to lose weight not gain it. I'm plunging myself into the vegan mindset. I'm going the whole hog. (But no hogs of course.) I'm interested to see how my body reacts to being vegan. I've been doing it for eight weeks now. The first couple of weeks was hard but now hey, I'm cool with it. Interestingly my sugar cravings have reduced. I do miss my beloved Marmite on toast with shitloads of sea salty butter though.

So here is a recipe I did for Kenwood full of hot melty cheesiness and fluffy potatoey gnocchi, baked. I'm fine. Don't worry about me. You go ahead. Enjoy yourself. Don't mind me. Sniff.

Nanny Savino's baked cheesy gnocchi recipe

1 kilo of floury potatoes (usually about 3 or 4)
250g Italian 00 flour
1 egg
1 clove garlic, cut in half
200ml double cream
200g of strong cheddar, grated

Bake the potatoes in the oven from 45 minutes to an hour. The skins should be crispy and the insides soft, prod with a fork to check. Once cooked, let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes then cut them in half and scoop out the flesh. (You could use the potato skins for another recipe)

Grate the potato flesh. Then in a bowl, add the grated potato, the flour and the egg. Mix all the ingredients until smooth.
Divide this mixture into fist sized balls. On a floured surface, roll each ball into a long sausage about an inch or 2.5cms in diameter. Cut inch long or 2.5cm long segments along the dough 'sausage'. Then press lightly with a floured fork into each segment to get that classic gnocchi ridged look. 
Spread the gnocchi on a tray covered with greaseproof or silicon paper. Don't let them touch. Prepare an oven proof dish (either 4 small ones or one large) by greasing it with butter. Rub the surface with half a clove of garlic which you discard after using. 
Boil a pan full of salty water. In group of 10 or 15, lightly place the gnocchi into the boiling salty water. The gnocchi will cook very quickly, about a minute. When they float, they are cooked. Lift them out with a slotted spoon into your oven proof dishes. 
Then spoon on the cream and sprinkle over the grated cheddar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the top is browning and bubbly. 
Serve hot.
Who is Nanny Savino? She's my Italian Great-Grandma who lived in the council flats off Holloway Road. She was a great cook and sold fags and toffee from her doorstep.

baked gnocchi

baked gnocchi


  1. Fancy going vegan just before Christmas! gnocci looks gorgeous.

  2. Crikey, well good luck with it and do keep an eye on the balance of your intake of vitamins and minerals - a friend of mine went vegan with a vengeance, as it were (and not too much forward planning) and within 2 months her hair started falling out ...

    1. Wow, I know lots of vegans and that hasn't happened to them....wonder why?

  3. Walnut oil drizzled over toast, under Marmite, tastes a lot better than it sounds!

    1. At the mo I'm doing coconut oil with marmite but will give Walnut oil a go

  4. Have tried making gnocchi a few times, with varying results (once tried to make it with sweet potatoes and put far too much flour in ... yuck!) This looks so tasty with all that cheese!

  5. It probably sounds like selling pasta to Italians (Australia does that too), but we think we've researched gnocchi to within an inch of its origins. Adding potato is a modern addition, one we don't like for both textural and flavor reasons, and in the original gnocchi, invented by the Ancient Romans, potato had yet to migrate from the Americas. If you want to try a simpler, softer recipe and compare the original to the modern, just search for ricotta gnocchi at Hope you love it like we do.

  6. Still can't believe I've never made gnocchi, when it's good it's soooo good! Next time we have a rainy weekend I'm gonna get busy. And use your Nanny's recipe.


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