Wild Garlic Gnocchi

It’s that time of year again – wild garlic season is upon us! I went home to Cumbria a few weeks ago, and couldn’t leave without making my annual stash of wild garlic pesto. I wanted to try something else this year too, though, and I’d had gnocchi on my to-make list for ages, so it all just fell into place.

These fluffy, potatoey pillows are so moreish. When packed with wild garlic they become something else: no longer just a carrier for other flavours, but with a deep, fresh, garlicky flavour of their own.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):
– 75g wild garlic
– 300g waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped into large, even-sized chunks
– 100g plain flour

1. Begin by washing the wild garlic, discarding any discoloured leaves (and rogue blades of grass!). Whizz in a salad spinner, if you have one, and leave to dry.

2. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large saucepan with a pinch of salt and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until a sharp knife can cut throughthem with no resistance. Drain, then set aside to cool and dry off.

3. Mash the potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Finely chop the wild garlic leaves (or blitz in a food processor), then mix into the mashed potato, along with the flour and plenty of seasoning, to form a dough.

4. Knead briefly on a lightly floured work surface, then cut the dough into four pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape, then cut into pieces (about 2.5cm wide). Lightly press each piece with a fork.

5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add the gnocchi in batches, so as not to crowd the pan. Cook each piece of gnocchi until it rises to the surface of the water (this will take about 2 minutes), then remove with a slotted spoon. Leave to drain while you cook the remaining gnocchi.

If you wanted, at this point you could transfer the cooked gnocchi to a frying pan with a splash of oil to crisp up. I served mine as they were, with pine nuts, courgette ribbons, green beans and a brown butter sauce, topped with shavings of veggie parmesan.

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