Potato Gnocchi with Scampi, Brandy, Tomato and Basil

by Kristian Vale

You'll need

  • Gnocchi:
  • 500g Cooked, mashed potato
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 10g Sea salt
  • 1 Pinch fresh nutmeg
  • (Extra flour may be needed to help knead the dough)
  • Butter (for cooking)
  • ------------------------------
  • Brandy tomato sauce:
  • 50ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Scampi heads (the rest of the scampi comes later)
  • 2 Cloves sliced garlic
  • 1 Red chilli, sliced
  • 100ml Brandy
  • 300ml Chicken stock
  • 1 Tin pureed Italian tomatoes
  • 50ml Fresh cream
  • Sugar & sea salt
  • Fresh basil
  • ------------------------------
  • 4 Large scampi, heads removed (used in the tomato sauce) and sliced in half
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Here's how

  1. To make gnocchi: Combine all ingredients and knead until just combined and no lumps. The trick to gnocchi is to not overwork the dough - pretty much as soon as it comes together; you're good to go. Roll into long strips and then cut into the desired shape (I prefer mine to be quite large squares).
  2. To prepare the sauce: Heat the olive oil and add the scampi heads, chili and garlic. Cook out until the shells are fragrant (whilst trying not to burn the chilli and garlic). Deglaze with brandy (be careful, this will flame) then add chicken stock and tomato puree, then cook for 45mins. Season with salt and sugar, then strain the sauce to get rid of the heads. Reduce the sauce and add cream and fresh basil.
  3. In heavily salted water, blanch the gnocchi. The best way to tell if gnocchi is cooked is as soon as it floats - its ready. Strain gnocchi, then saute in a pan until golden brown. Remove the gnocchi then in the same pan, you can add the cherry tomatoes and half shell scampi and then slowly caramelise. When cooking scampi, i find it easier to cook on the flesh side for roughly 1 1/2 mins. It will be just cooked at this point.
  4. Take the scampi and tomatoes out of the pan then combine with the sauce and gnocchi. Garnish with fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil and fresh chilli if desired.

About the Author

Kristian Vale

Kristian is Head Chef at China Lane: a stylishly relaxed dining experience within the beautiful inner city lane way of Angel Place. Seasonal produce, traditional flavours and modern techniques with a downtown 1930s Shanghai – meets – Mad Men feel.

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