Yurt Food From Home: Enrico’s Gnocchi

At The Yurt, we are proud to present dishes from skilled food connoisseurs with imagination and ingenuity behind their craft. As the world around us starts to show the hopeful signs of spring, one of our chefs, Enrico, reflects on how the environment is his main inspiration behind our seasonal menus. As he explains, “It’s very simple: nature provides us with the right substance at that specific time of year, so that we eat what we need.”

However, this does not mean predictable recipes – Enrico takes pride in introducing new ideas to customers. “Our dishes are created with a common intent: to deliver an explosion of flavours, and encourage people to make a small leap of faith, as we get the best out of the ingredients we work with.” Enrico’s emphasis on flavour stems from his Italian background, and he remembers learning to cook with his mother from a young age. “She was by far the best cook I have ever met in my thirty-five years behind a professional stove. She didn’t really care as much about presentation; all of her energy was focused on the flavours.”

All our dishes, from the hearty chickpea broth to the colourful vegetable shakshuka, win praise for both their superb taste, as well as stunning presentation. But Enrico says, “At the age of 51, I am still learning. One of the greatest things that I have learned is to never lose the gift of being humble, as it is the only way to keep improving.”

Last week, Enrico hosted a ‘cook-a-long’ for our staff. A night where wine flowed (and Enrico showed great patience…) resulted in a team of happy chefs eating a delicious Yurt recipe. Enrico has kindly written up the menu so that you can have a go yourself. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Gnocchi:

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 100g beetroot pureed
  • 300g flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 5ltr water

Pesto:

  • 100g of rocket
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 100g parmesan
  • 100g olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 200ml double cream
Yurt Food From Home: Enrico's Gnocchi

Recipe

Preparation

  1. Peel and boil the potatoes until soft
  2. Drain them and allow them to steam for about 5 minutes – this will allow some water to evaporate
  3. Mash the potatoes and add the beetroot puree, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix very well
  4. Allow the mix to cool down before adding the flour and then mix together until the flour is fully incorporated
  5. You may need to transfer onto a work surface and mix by hand. Dust the work surface lightly with flour to prevent sticking

Pesto

  1. Mix the rocket, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until creamy
  2. Pour the pesto into a wide saucepan and add the cream
  3. Warm the pesto gently over a low heat

Gnocchi

  1. Bring 5 litres of salted water to the boil
  2. While the water is heating, roll some of the dough into a long sausage shape (on a well-floured surface). The roll should be 1cm thick.
  3. Cut the gnocchi into 1cm wide pieces
  4. Repeat the process until you have finished the dough
  5. Separate the gnocchi and dust with flour to prevent them sticking
  6. Once the water has come to a boil, place the gnocchi in, one at a time
  7. When the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove them from the water and put them in the pesto saucepan, stirring gently
  8. Once all the gnocchi are cooked and dressed, dish them up and garnish them with some shaved parmesan and rocket.

Yurt Food From Home: Enrico's Gnocchi