Serves: 6 - 8
30 grams dried porcini
2 tablespoons olive oil
30 grams butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 x 400 gram tins Italian tomatoes,
roughly chopped 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan for serving
1.5 kilos floury potatoes eg. Agria
2 cups plain flour
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 egg yolks
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt black pepper
Sauce: Soak the porcini for 20 minutes in 500ml boiling water. Remove the mushrooms and slice finely. Strain the liquid through muslin to remove any grit and reserve.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the butter and onion. Sauté until the onion is soft then add the garlic, tomatoes and herbs, the mushrooms and the soaking liquid.
Season and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large serving dish and keep warm in the oven.
Gnocchi: Peel and cut the potatoes into even chunks. Cover with cold salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until very tender. Drain, return the potatoes to the pot and shake over the heat to dry out.
Mash well or press through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Add the yolks, Parmesan, 1 1⁄2 cups of the flour, salt and pepper. Mix to form a soft, but not sticky dough, adding more flour if needed.
Divide the dough into 5-6 pieces and roll into logs about 2 cm thick. Cut these into 3 cm lengths. Press with the prongs of a fork to make ‘tracks’.
Place on a floured tray and repeat with the remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
Add the gnocchi in batches and cook for 2-3 minutes after they float to the surface – this cooks out the flour. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the tomato sauce as they are cooked.
To serve: Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. Serves 6-8
Dried porcini mushrooms: available from specialty stores