Gorgeous gnocchi

This dish is almost too fabulous to eat!





To make the gnocci, peel the potatoes and cook in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and pass them through a passatutto or ricer into a bowl, or mash well to a smooth consistency. Add 1 cup flour and the salt to form a soft, pliable dough.

Pour the remaining flour in a mound on a work surface, and turn the dough out onto the flour. Knead the flour into the dough, adding a little more if the dough sticks to your hands. The more flour you add at this stage, the heavier the gnocchi will be, so try not to add too much.

You need to decide how big to make the gnocchi. The trick is to keep them the same size so that they have the same cooking time. Roll the dough out into long sausages and chop into pieces between 1 and 1 ½ inches in length. You can then roll them over the tines of a fork for texture or use a gnocchi board, so that more sauce will stick to them. But you can leave them simply pillow shaped and plain.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the gnocchi. They are cooked when they bob back up to the surface- this takes 2-4 minutes. Drain well and toss with the sauce in the skillet. Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh basil leaves sprinkled on top.


For the sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, remove the sausages from their casings and break meat up into smaller pieces. In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until golden. Stir in the fennel seeds and bay leaves. Add the meat to the pan and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until it is cooked through. Using a wooden spoon, finely break up the meat.

Add the wine and let it reduce for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomato puree and tomato paste and mix well. Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 45 minutes.

Serves 4-6

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