1 kilogram medium Agria potatoes, scrubbed
½ cup rock salt
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup plain flour
plus extra for rolling
sea salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
100 grams butter
handful sage leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch chilli flakes
Parmesan for grating
cherry tomatoes (optional)
Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Place the salt on a baking tray and nestle the potatoes into it. This draws out their moisture. Bake for 50 minutes or until tender when pierced with a skewer.
Scrape off any salt stuck to the skin then halve the potatoes lengthwise. Hold the hot potato in a tea towel in the palm of your hand and scoop out the flesh.
Press through a ricer or coarse sieve or mash well in a large bowl. Cool for 10 minutes then stir in the egg yolks and nutmeg and season very generously.
Sprinkle a little of the flour on the bench and spread the potato mixture on top. Sprinkle over the remaining flour and gently mix through with your fingers until the mixture comes together to make a smooth dough with no stickiness.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll into logs about 30cm x 2cm. Cut each into 2cm pieces and place in a single layer on a baking tray dusted lightly with flour.
Butter: Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and when hot add the butter then the sage leaves and pine nuts. Cook until the butter is lightly golden and smells nutty and the sage is crisp. Take off the heat and immediately add the lemon juice, garlic and chilli flakes. Stir and set aside.
To cook: Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches, waiting until they rise to the top then cook for 1 minute more. Taste one to check if it’s cooked. Lift the gnocchi out with a slotted spoon, add them to the pan containing the sage butter and turn gently to coat.
When all the gnocchi are cooked, place the sauté pan back over the heat and add a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Shake the pan so the gnocchi don’t stick. Cook for another 2 minutes until they are all well coated with the sauce.
To serve: Serve immediately, topped with lashings of grated Parmesan and ground pepper. I also added rocket and cherry tomatoes.