Chestnut gnocchi with walnuts

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This was a fun experiment. And perhaps, according to lack of info found on Google, a first? I made this gnocchi with chestnut puree.

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Chestnut gnocchi is a classic Italian dish, but it’s made with chestnut flour and potato/ricotta/pasta grade flour and eggs. I discovered chestnut puree in the shops and thought I’d try turning it into gnocchi. A lot could go wrong. The stakes were high – this was pretty much the only food we had in the house, so if it failed, we’d need to order in food.

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So – how was it? Easy to make. Not as fluffy in texture as gnocchi I’ve previously made with ricotta, more akin to the texture of potato gnocchi. Because the puree is so dense it was never going to be pillow light. I enjoyed the nuttiness, the richness, the decadence – and the stodge! Delicious in flavour, especially when paired with walnuts, butter, cheese and cavolo nero. Ricotta gnocchi is still my fave though. Anyone else ever tried making chestnut gnocchi? With puree?? I’d been keen to try the version made with flour to see how it compares.

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You will need:

for the gnocchi

120g chestnut puree (I used Merchant Gourmet brand)
100g tip 00 flour, plus extra to dust
Yolks of 2 large eggs
1 tbspn freshly grated grana padano
Pinch of salt

for the ‘sauce’

6 cavolo nero leaves, chopped into relatively small pieces
40g freshly toasted walnuts, crumbled
1 tbspn butter
1 tbspn olive oil
2 tbspn white wine
1 large echalion shallot, v finely chopped
1 tspn freshly grated nutmeg
1 tspn dried sage
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbspn grana padano
Salt, pepper

plus

White truffle oil & grana padano to serve

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Method:

1 – Mix together all the ingredients for the gnocchi. Dust a little flour on a surface and knead the dough slightly until even and smooth. Roll out into a sausage about 3cm in diameter and chop up into bite sized gnocchi pieces. Set aside on a flour dusted plate until ready to cook.

2 – Heat the butter for the ‘sauce’ in a frying pan. Once it starts to turn golden and nutty, add the oil followed by the shallots. Toss in the toasted walnuts and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat. Add the wine and cook until reduced. Meanwhile, blanch the cavolo nero in bubbling water for 1-2 minutes, no more. Stir the sage, nutmeg, seasoning and garlic into the shallot/nut mix, then stir in the drained blanched cabbage once cooked. The sauce is ready to serve, but you can keep it on a very low heat to remain warm whilst you cook the gnocchi.

3 – Cook the gnocchi for about 2 minutes in a large pan of salted boiling water. It’s cooked when all the gnocchi are floating and puffed up slightly. Drain and add to the ‘sauce’, along with 2 tbspn cooking water and the extra parmesan. Toss together over a medium-high heat for a minute or so until well combined. Divide between two plates and top with extra cheese and truffle oil.

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10 thoughts on “Chestnut gnocchi with walnuts

  1. Looks lovely. We’ve made chestnut gnocchi from chestnut flour, but not the puree. In the US, the stuff you find is usually sweetened. Was that the case with yours? Did it matter? Thanks. Ken

    1. Hi! Thanks! Oh how was the version wirh the flour? What else did you add- potato ? Ah no its totally unsweetened here, just plain blended chestnuts and a touch of salt. So thankfully no it didnt turn out sweet!

      1. I’ll have to check with Jody, but I *think* it was potato. During our recent trip to Paris I had a chance on New Year’s Eve to reacquaint myself with an old love – roasted chestnuts. I’d forgotten how good they are.

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