Every now and again my plans to go vegetarian are foiled by Mr Chipconnoisseur’s insatiable apetite for red meat. I cannot say I’m displeased about it, in fact I probably enjoy it as much as he does, especially in a rich saucy Bolognese like this one. But with the addition of smoky chorizo, this is definitely a dish best fit for a man’s
While I was hoping to serve it with spaghetti, and by all means you could, in a mad dash to the checkout I forgot to procure the said ingredient, so I made these delicious twice cooked gnocchi instead. It is amazing what one can do with just 4 pantry staple ingredients. And despite what you may think, they are quite easy and quick to make!
I like to cook my gnocchi twice; boil then fry off for extra crunch on the outside and fluffiness in the middle. Irresistibly good! But they are just as good boiled and have none of that weird additive taste of the store-bought pre-packaged type. For other savoury and sweet gnocchi topping ideas, see here.
Twice cooked potato gnocchi with chorizo Bolognese
You can keep boiled gnocchi in the fridge for a few days, then to refresh them simply fry off in a pan until golden and crips on the outside. Uncooked gnocchi can also be frozen and boiled for a couple of extra minutes whenever you may need them. The whole dish is a great lunchbox candidate too.
For the gnocchi:
- 750g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of plain flour + extra flour for dusting
- pinch of salt
- 2lt of water
- olive oil for frying
- oil spray
For the chorizo Bolognese:
- 500g (organic) beef mince
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 chorizo, diced
- 2 cups red wine (I used a Grenache Mataro Shiraz blend)
- 1/2 red capsicum, diced
- 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp Italian herb and spice blend
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp oil
- grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan or pecorino)
- lemon wedge
To make the gnocchi: boil potatoes for about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain, toss in the pot and place back on low heat for a moment to get rid of excess moisture. Mash using a potato masher. I don’t bother putting mine through a ricer or sieve, they are more rustic that way and if you mash them well enough they will be smooth enough. Set aside to cool down.
Once the potatoes are at room temperature, mix in the egg, then sift in the flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined and you can’t see any flour lumps. Dust a cutting board with some flour. Take a handful of the dough and roll into a 2 cm thick log. Flatten gently then cut on an angle into bite-sized pieces and set aside on another tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.
To boil the gnocchi: place water and a pinch of salt in a large stockpot and bring to the boil. Drop batches of the gnocchi into the water and boil for 2 minutes, or until they float to the surface. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon into a colander and spray with oil spray to prevent them from sticking together. You can serve them without frying, and they keep best in the fridge that way – you can then fry them up for serving later or the next day.
To fry the gnocchi: heat up some oil in a frypan. Fry gnocchi until golden brown then turn over using tongs and brown the other side. Serve with your choice of topping.
To make the chorizo Bolognese: brown onion and chorizo in a little oil in a large stockpot. Add beef mince and cook on high heat, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon until the meat is nicely browned. Add wine, capsicum, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer, semi-covered for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a 1/2 cup of water if the suace becomes too thick in that time.
To serve: arrange some boiled or fried gnocchi in a serving bowl. Add a scoop of Bolognese and grate over some nice smelly cheese. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side.