Spring Pea and Mozzarella Gnocchi with Agresto
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Step 1: Spread the flour out into a rectangle on your work surface.
Step 2: Peel the potatoes and steam them for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Whilst hot, pass each potato through a potato ricer or use a handheld masher till the potatoes are mashed well.
Step 3: Let the mashed potato fall evenly over the flour on the bench and sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt. Melt the butter and drizzle evenly over the potato.
Step 4: Work the flour into the potato little by little using a pastry scraper until you have a firm dough. Knead the dough gently for 2 minutes, then divide the dough into quarters. Roll each piece to make a long, thin log about 1cm thick in diameter, and cut each log into 2.5cm lengths.
Step 5: Place a large wide pot, 2/3rds filled with water over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add a tablespoon of salt and place the gnocchi into the pot. When the gnocchi rise to the surface, wait a further 1 minute, then gently remove them from the water using a slotted spoon. Drain well and place into a large baking tray, drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil to prevent sticking together, then set aside and keep warm.
Step 6: Preheat fan forced oven to 220°C.
Step 7: To make the Agresto, place the almonds and walnuts onto separate baking trays and place them into the oven to bake for approximately 5 minutes, shaking the trays regularly to prevent the nuts from burning. Remove from the oven and remove the skins from the walnuts by placing them into a clean tea towel and rubbing the sides together. Set aside to cool.
Step 8: Place the roasted nuts, garlic, basil, salt and pepper with a little of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a food processor and blend for approximately 3 minutes to make a fine paste. Add the remaining Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the Verjuice. The consistency should be perfect for spreading or if required, thin further using more Verjuice and set aside.
Step 9: Note: The agresto can be made up to ½ hour in advance but no longer as it will start to oxidize.
Step 10: Place a medium sized pot of salted water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Pour in the peas and cook for 3 minutes, then strain.
Step 11: Place the warm gnocchi into a large mixing bowl and add the peas, mozzarella and the agresto. Mix together well and season to taste.
Step 12: To serve, divide between 4 serving plates or place onto a large platter, sprinkle over the basil and chervil leaves and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
200g 1 1/3 cup plain flour
500g waxy potatoes
1 tbspn sea salt
50g unsalted butter
40ml 2 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
400g fresh peas shelled
200g fresh mozzarella roughly torn
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup chervil leaves (optional)
60ml 3 tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil