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Chestnut and ricotta gnocchi w blue cheese & honey

Recipe by Italy On My Mind

Paola from Italy on my Mind has created this amazing entree that serves 4.

  • 450g ricotta, drained
  • 225g chestnut flour
  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon superfine semolina, plus extra for dusting
  • 4 whole chestnuts
  • 130g unsalted butter
  • raw honey (to taste)
  • 120g firm crumbly blue cheese
  1. To make the chestnut and ricotta gnocchi, place the ricotta in a bowl and smash it with the back of a fork until it is smooth. Sift the chestnut flour onto the ricotta and stir through. Drop in the egg, add salt and pepper to taste and if the mixture seems very wet, add a tablespoon or two at the most of fine semolina. Cover and place in the refrigerator to rest for an hour.
  2. In the meantime, boil 4 chestnuts for 10 minutes, then drain. Allow to cool, peel, then slice finely. Heat up a small non-stick frypan on high to medium heat and drop in the 20g of butter. When it has melted, add the sliced chestnuts and cook for a few minutes until crisp, tossing as needed. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. To make your gnocchi, toss some semolina on your work surface and make balls of dough (the size of small walnuts) and roll in the semolina. Roll on a wooden board (or the concave tines of a fork) and set aside. Repeat until you have used up all the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel if not cooking immediately.
  4. Bring a large wide pot of salted water to the boil. When it has reached a rolling boil, drop in as many gnocchi as will fit without over-crowding the pan (cook in batches if necessary). Whilst the gnocchi are cooking, heat a large non-stick frypan on medium heat and add the rest of the butter. When melted, put the heat on low and toss in thresh thyme leaves (if using). By now the gnocchi should be rising to the surface (will take about 3 minutes).
  5. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon; and making sure they are well drained, toss the gnocchi in the pan with the butter (and put the remaining gnocchi in the boiling water if cooking in batches). Turn the heat up to medium-high and pan fry the chestnut and ricotta gnocchi for a minute or two, until they start to take on some colour, tossing as needed. Serve on warmed individual plates, with some of the melted butter spooned on; decorated with crumbled blue cheese, raw honey (to taste – I like quite a lot) and the previously prepared chestnut slivers.

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