Making your own gnocchi sounds like one of those life's-too-short kind of jobs, like making your own crisps or ironing socks. It's actually a lot simpler than you might first think, and definitely less time-consuming than you'd imagine.
When it comes to comfort food, I think that the 'comfort' part is ruined somewhat when the preparation takes too much time and effort (for example, I love macaroni cheese, but I can't enjoy it until the mountain of dirty pans I've produced has been washed up). Gnocchi is, as comfort foods go, up there with the best of them. It works brilliantly with simple sauces like pesto or tapenade which makes it pretty stress-free all-round.
Buckwheat isn't actually related to wheat at all, it's part of the rhubarb family, and it's used in gnocchi is some Italian regions. You can buy it in some supermarkets (I've seen it in Sainsbury's and Tesco) or online, at Goodness Direct
- 400g new potatoes (something waxy like a Charlotte is best)
- 100g buckwheat flour
- 1 egg yolk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil the potatoes in salted water for about 25 minutes, until tender, drain and leave in the colander to steam dry. Leave until they're cool enough to handle.
- Either put the potatoes through a potato ricer, of peel them and finely grate into a bowl.
- Sieve the buckwheat flour over the potatoes add the egg yolk, salt and pepper and mix well. Once everything is combined, turn it out onto a work surface and knead, like you would with bread dough, for a few minutes. Wrap in cling-film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes (the gnocchi, not you).
- Roll into a long sausage then cut into 2cm-ish pieces. Press onto a fork to make the ridges.
- Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and drop the gnocchi in and simmer. When they float to the suface, they're ready. Remove from the water and toss with your sauce.