Black truffle gnocchi with wild mushrooms
This recipe uses black truffle and wild mushrooms to pair beautifully with a tomato cream sauce and light, fluffy potato gnocchi. There are a lot of different versions out there for gnocchi, and this is my favourite way of making beautifully light potato gnocchi. Recipes for gnocchi vary greatly with the amount of flour to potato ratio and whether to add egg or not. I prefer my gnocchi to be light and fluffy and the trick to this is making sure your potato is as dry as possible and you balance this with the least amount of flour possible.
I find that if you add egg yolk to the mixture it helps bind together the dough, it is easier to handle and it holds together better when cooked, so you can reduce the flour content easier. Potatoes can vary a lot in moisture content, starch and waxiness. So selecting the right potato is really important. Desiree, royal blue or russet potatoes work best. You can boil them whole, but this can create a soggy potato, so I find you get a much better result baking them, but it does take a bit longer to cook.
For this recipe, I use a fairly traditional tomato cream sauce which works beautifully with the mushrooms.
- 500 g desiree potatoes or royal blue or a dry starchy potato
- 100 g ‘00’ pasta flour or you can use plain flour
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-reggiano cheese finely grated
- 1 egg yolk beaten
- 5 g freshly grated black truffle or 1 tablespoon
- 1 tsp salt
- 600 g mixed wild mushrooms such as pine mushrooms, porcini, oyster, or king oyster, swiss brown
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot or onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup tomato passata
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup double cream
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- 15 g Flesh black truffle
- Optional extra Parmigiano-reggiano cheese and basil
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius
- For the gnocchi, place the potatoes on a wire rack set over a baking sheet (this allows the air to circulate around them). Bake until completely cooked (you can test with a fork to see if it will go all the way through), approximately 45 minutes – 1hour.
- Remove them from the oven and immediately split them in half lengthways to allow the steam to escape. Use a tea towel or tongs to hold the potatoes as they will be very hot.
- You then want to sieve the potatoes while they are still hot, to also help them dry out further. I find the easiest way is by pushing them through a drum sieve, cut side down. This way you can push on the skin side with your tea towel and you are just left with the skin. If you don’t have a drum sieve, peel or scoop out the potato with a spoon and press through a ricer, food mill or fine sieve. The finer the better for this process.
- Spread your potato out on a chopping board and allow to cool slightly. Pour over the mixed egg yolk and sprinkle or sieve 2/3 of the flour over the potatoes evenly. Also, sprinkle your cheese and truffle over the top of the potatoes.
- Now you want to bring the mixtures together as quickly as possible without overworking the dough. You can use a bench scraper or knife to try and work the flour into the potato and bring it all together.
- You may find at this point you need to add more flour - depending on the moisture content of your potatoes. You will need to work the dough together carefully and judge how much flour and effort is needed to bring the dough together. The goal is to add as little flour and knead as little as possible. The more flour and kneading, the denser the gnocchi will be. But your dough needs to come together well, otherwise, it will fall apart when you cook it.
- Once it comes together in a rough ball, dust the ball with the remaining flour and gently form it into a long log. Cut log into 4-6 pieces and roll each piece out into a long thin log about 1.5cm thick. Keep everything well dusted with flour and work gently. Using a knife or your bench scraper, cut the thin log into 1.5-2cm pieces and place onto a well-floured tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- You can cook your gnocchi like this, or traditionally gnocchi are given a ridged pattern that helps soak up all that yummy sauce. If you have a timber gnocchi board, you can place a piece of gnocchi on the textured gnocchi board, and gently pressing the gnocchi into the board with your thumb, at the same time, roll the gnocchi down the board away from you. If you don’t have a gnocchi board, you can use the back of a fork to do the same process.
- Allow your gnocchi to sit, whilst you prepare your sauce.
- For the sauce, slice the mushrooms into roughly the same size pieces. Some can just be halved, others like the King oyster and pine mushrooms may need to be sliced. Place them on a tray lined with baking paper/ Drizzle them in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat well.
- Roast the mushrooms in the preheated oven for 10-15mins until roasted and browned. Remove from the oven.
- Finely dice the shallot. Remove the thyme leaves from the woody stems and finely chop.
- Add the extra olive oil to a medium-sized deep frypan or large saucepan. Add the shallot and cook over medium heat until softened and starting to caramelise. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the red wine to deglaze the pan and allow it to reduce by half.
- Add the tomato paste and passata and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat to further reduce.
- Finally, add the cream, season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- To finish, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Carefully, lower the gnocchi into the boiling water with your bench scraper or slotted spoon. Stir and allow to boil. The gnocchi are cooked when they float to the surface. Allow them to float for about 10-20 seconds then remove them immediately. Taste one to make sure it is cooked and does not taste floury.
- Spoon your gnocchi directly into your tomato sauce. Stir to coat evenly.
- Transfer the gnocchi to your serving bowls. Sprinkle over the roasted mushrooms and freshly shave some black truffle over the top.
- Serve immediately.
- You can also garnish with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmigiano-reggiano if you wish.
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