Cacio e pepe gnocchi

Joe Jones' cacio e pepe gnocchi.
Joe Jones' cacio e pepe gnocchi. Photo: Kristoffer Paulsen
Dietary
Vegetarian

This recipe comes in at 90 cents a serve.

Ingredients

1kg royal blue potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 egg

1 egg yolk

salt

white pepper

100g plain flour

250g semolina, plus extra for dusting

25g butter

Cacio e pepe sauce

300ml water

1 tbsp cornflour

25g butter

50g parmesan cheese (or similar), finely grated

salt

cracked black pepper

Method

1. Place the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water. Cook over a medium heat until they can be very easily pierced with the point of a knife. Drain into a large, fine sieve and, working in batches while still hot, push the potatoes through the sieve with a wooden spoon to achieve a very fine and aerated mash.

2. While still hot, add the egg and yolk, a very generous pinch of salt, a little white pepper and stir to combine. Gradually add enough semolina and flour in small handfuls, gently combining until you have a smooth dough that is firm and no longer sticky to the touch. If you are uncertain whether you have added enough semolina or simply want to check your seasoning, cut off a piece and fry the dough in a pan with some butter until golden on both sides, taste it and then you can adjust the batch if needed. When you are happy, cover the dough with a cloth to prevent  it from drying, or becoming too cold and difficult to work with.

3. Roll the dough into a log, then cut the dough and roll into smaller logs. Using a butter knife or a spatula, cut into about 60 bite-sized gnocchi pieces. Keep the portioned gnocchi on a tray or chopping board, dusted with semolina to prevent sticking.

4. Add 25 grams of butter to a non-stick pan over a medium heat and let it go slightly brown and bubbly. Add gnocchi to the pan in batches and cook until you have a golden crust on one side (one to two minutes) then gently flip, to repeat on the other side for the same amount of time. Set aside and keep warm.

5. For the sauce, add the water to a small saucepan, then add the cornflour and whisk to combine. Bring to a low simmer, then add the butter and stir until dissolved. Add the grated cheese, whisking continuously so it doesn't settle and stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Over a medium/high heat, reduce the sauce while whisking, until thick and glossy. Season with salt and generous amounts of black pepper, to taste.

6. To serve, drizzle the sauce over the warm gnocchi and feel free to garnish with any herbs you have lying around (oregano, basil or parsley work well, but are not crucial).

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