Posts Tagged ‘nettle gnocchi’

As I mentioned last week, broccoli rabé is growing vigorously in our garden.

Also known as rapini, broccoli raab, and broccoletti, these bitter leaves and flowers are widely used in Mediterranean cooking.  We’ve never grown them before, but were enticed to do so by promises that the entire plant was edible, with a broccoli-like flavour.

We harvested some leaves for the first time a couple of days ago, and brought in a head of broccoli, cos lettuce and a handful of peas as well, in case the rabé didn’t pass muster with the boys…

I was somewhat put off by the small stinging spikes on the tips of the leaves.  Interestingly, these seemed to disappear a short while after harvesting…

The prickles reminded me of Joanna and Carl’s nettle and potato gnocchi, which I’d been wanting to try for ages.  It seemed like a great first use of our rabé!

I followed the recipe closely, substituting the following ingredients:

  • 100 grams of broccoli rabé leaves – I removed and discarded the stalks, chopped the remaining leaves up coarsely, poured boiling water over them, and let them sit for a few minutes.  After draining, these were allowed to cool and then the water was squeezed out of them.
  • 600g (2 large) white sebago potatoes, peeled, chopped and microwaved until soft, then mashed through a ricer
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, a generous few twists
  • 150 grams (1 cup) plain (AP) flour

The drained, blanched leaves should be chopped as finely as possible – mine were a little coarse, which gave the gnocchi untidy edges.  The finished pasta should probably also have been smaller, but I had trouble rolling the dough any thinner…

Despite their rustic appearance, these were absolutely delicious! We served them simply with Pepe Saya butter, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and  Nerone Grana Padano cheese.  We also made broccoli pasta – a firm favourite with our sons – but struggled to convince them to eat it instead of the gnocchi…

We’ll definitely be making this again! Thanks Joanna and Carl for such a great (and adaptable) recipe.  Best of all, we’ve figured out that the broccoli rabé which grows so easily and well in our garden is not only edible – it’s delicious!

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