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Pure comfort food but with the addition of refreshing celeriac. It could be served with a hearty tomato sauce or as I have done, fried lightly with sage and garlic.
Potato and celeriac gnocchi
Serves 5-8 depending on your appetite
700g floury potatoes, scrubbed
500g celeriac, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 large eggs
pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
300g flour (more or less dependingon moisture in potatoes)
4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
10 sage leaves, left whole
1 lemon, juiced
freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Begin by cooking the potatoes whole in a large pot of salted boiling water. Bring back to the boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Place a colander or steamer on top of the pot and add the celeriac, cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked, drain and as soon as they can be safely handle (I hold them in a tea towel) peel off the skin with a knife. Work quickly, as you want the potatoes as warm as possible, as this helps them to stay fluffy.
Pass the potatoes and celeriac through a mouli or push through a sieve. Repeat this process once more to ensure you have no lumps.
Place directly on to your work bench, make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Mix with a fork to get going, add half the flour and seasoning. Continue to mix with the fork and when it starts to come together, roll up your sleeves and get your hands in the mix. If it is too wet, add a little more flour and gently knead together until the dough is smooth and comes together.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Divide the dough into 3 even pieces. Then roll into long, cylinder-shaped lengths, about the thickness of your thumb. Lightly dust your work bench and cut the dough into 3cm-sized pieces. Now roll each piece over the back of a fork. This will not only mould it but also allow the sauce to stick.
When all done, cook in batches in the boiling water. They should rise to the surface when cooked (about 2 minutes).
Remove with a sieve and drain.
Continue until all are cooked.
Add the butter, sage and garlic to a large frypan. Cook until the garlic starts to colour lightly. Add the gnocchi and fry until lightly golden. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Serve with hot with the sage butter drizzled generously over them, and plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese.
• Alison Lambert is one of the demonstrators at the Otago Farmers Market in Dunedin on Saturday mornings.