Winter is at its peak, and with its cosy atmosphere we all are craving for a little more comfort food. Chestnuts are in season and are the key ingredient of this dish, and the recipe only entails a few others. The quality of the potatoes is crucial for quality of the gnocchi: choose the old and mealy ones, which contain the least amount of water.
- 1 kg mealy potatoes
- 150 gr chestnut flour
- 150 gr plain flour
- 1 whole free range egg, lightly beaten
- 25 gr butter + 25 gr for the sauce
- 120 gr Italian Bleu cheese (regular blue cheese will also work)
- 120 ml whole milk
Place the potatoes in a large pot, unpeeled, and pour enough water to cover at least by 4 centimeters. Add a pinch of salt, 1 tsp white vinegar and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook for 30/40 minutes, depending on the dimension of your potatoes. The potatoes must be completely tender and easily pierced with a skewer.
Meanwhile pass both flours through a sieve and place directly over a chopping board. Melt 25 gr butter, beat the egg in a small bowl and set aside.
Drain and peel the potatoes while still hot and pass them through a ricer directly over the flours.
Knead rapidly, add the egg and butter and form a homogeneous dough, but do not overmix the dough or the gnocchi will become unpleasantly tough when boiling: the dough should feel smooth and delicate to your hands.
When you have reached a uniform dough, set aside and clean the chopping board. Dust with some flour: in general, remember that the more flour the dough absorbs the tougher the gnocchi will be.
Wash your hands and take a piece of dough the size of an apple, covering the remaining dough with cling film so it won’t dry out. Roll the dough with your palms over the dusted surface and form a sort of rope about 1 ½ centimeter in diameter. Using a knife cut the rope every 2 centimeter in order to form the gnocchi, then lay on parchment paper dusted with flour. Proceed until you have used all the dough. You can leave the gnocchi to sit on the counter for maximum 2 hours, covered with a clean towel and dusted with some more flour.
To prepare the sauce, melt the Bleu cheese (or blue cheese) in a bain-marie, stirring constantly. Incorporate the remaining butter and keep warm.
When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and delicately transfer the gnocchi to boil. Let boil until they float to the top, drain well and season with the sauce. Scatter with parmesan and black pepper and serve hot.