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900g purple-heart potatoes
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
Salt and pepper to taste
2 gratings of fresh nutmeg
100g bacon lardons (finely chopped bacon)
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 Place the washed potatoes into a deep saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
2 Drain when cooked and cool slightly. Peel off the skins and place potatoes into a mouli, ricer or sieve.
3 You need to work fast as it is better to make the gnocchi mixture while the potatoes are warm. Sift the potatoes directly on to a clean work surface, grate over the nutmeg and sprinkling of salt and pepper. Knead to combine and gradually add half the flour. Continue kneading lightly until you obtain a soft but elastic dough. You may not need all the flour.
4 Take a piece of the dough, sprinkle it with flour and roll it with your hands into a sausage-like shape 2cm in diameter. Cut the dough into little pieces about 3cm long. Repeat until all the dough has been cut into pieces. Using a fork, roll each gnocchi along the prongs, letting it roll off on to a tray lined with a clean cloth. They should curl up like ribbed shells (it helps the sauce to stick).
5 Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil. Cook them in batches. They will float to the surface when cooked (1-2 minutes). If you want to eat them later it is best to pre-cook them for a minute as directed above and then simply reheat them in boiling water for a minute or two. Otherwise they become very sticky.
6 Heat a large frypan, add the bacon and fry until the fat renders down, add the butter and rosemary and continue to cook until fragrant and the bacon has become crispy. Using a slotted spoon scoop out the gnocchi, drain well and toss through the bacon and rosemary-infused butter, generously grind cracked pepper over and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will be demonstrating this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.