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Gnocchi

ingredients

serves 6.
1 lb (450 g) rocket
1 lb 2 oz (500 g) floury potatoes
5 oz (150 g) watercress leaves (net weight)
1 spring onion
1 clove garlic
1 large bunch basil
olive oil
9 oz (250 g) plain flour 3 eggs nutmeg
salt and white pepper
For the vegetable and herb sauce:
1 small clove garlic
1 small carrot
1 small green celery stalk
1 spring onion
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig basil
1 bay leaf
1 sprig sage
13 in (7 - 8 cm) white part of leek
2 oz (50 g) rocket (net weight)
4 oz (125 g) lamb's lettuce (net weight)
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

method

1. Boil the potatoes until tender. Blanch the rocket and watercress leaves in boiling salted water for 1 minute; drain, squeeze out the moisture and chop.

2. Chop the spring onion and garlic with a few basil leaves; fry in 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the chopped rocket and watercress, salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Cook, stirring over a low heat for a few minutes, then turn up the heat a little to dry out.

3. Blend to a smooth paste in the food processor. Peel and mash the potatoes. Stir in the vegetable puree, sift in the flour and work this in by hand or with a wooden spoon, gradually blending in 1 whole egg and 2 extra yolks, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Knead well until very smooth; divide the dough up into several even portions and roll each out into a long sausage shape of even thickness, about the width of your middle finger; cut into 3/4 in (2 cm) sections and press each section against the prongs of a fork. Space out the gnocchi on a clean floured cloth or board.

4. Make the sauce: Chop the garlic, carrot, celery, spring onion, parsley and basil together finely. Cook this mixture gently in 3 tbsp olive oil in a very large frying pan for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Tie up the bay leaf, sage and sliced leek in a muslin bag. Wash all the leaves of the green salad vegetables, dry well and chop finely. Peel the tomato, remove the seeds and chop.

5. Add the chopped salad greens and tomatoes to the pan together with the muslin bag, season, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Discard the bag. Add the gnocchi in several batches to a very large saucepan of boiling salted water; when each batch bobs up to the surface, they are cooked.

6. Remove with a slotted ladle and place in a colander then cook the next batch. Stir the gnocchi into the hot sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan, dot with flakes of butter and serve.

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