Gnocchi Cooking Class with The Bald Chef

Recently, I was invited to attend a Gnocchi Cooking Class with the Bald Chef. Who is the Bald Chef? The Bald Chef is Francesco Lucisano, head chef at L’Enoteca at Victoria Park and the blogger behind the Italian food blog, The Bald Chef Blog. Not only that, he also runs Italian cooking classes at L’Enoteca. So, if you want to bring a touch of Italy to the kitchen, don’t forget to check out Francesco’s food blog for some delicious Italian recipes and perhaps attend one of his cooking classes too!

On a Monday evening, I joined six foodies on an Italian cooking adventure with Francesco where we learnt how to make the beautiful and humble gnocchi. I have never cooked or made gnocchi before so this was a really great experience to learn from the expert. Along with Francesco’s guidance, we had plenty of opportunities to get our hands dirty from making the dough to rolling and forming the end product as he explained and walked us through step by step. I know that there are plenty of pressure points associated with making a good quality gnocchi but Francesco showed us on the night that it is ctually quite easy to make gnocchi with a few simple and easy techniques.

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For the night, we made Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina. It’s a simple potato gnocchi dish served with tomato sugo and fresh mozzarella sauce, typical of Campania, which produces one of the best tomatoes and mozzarella in Italy. Franceso also showed us another sauce which complements well with the gnocchi, comprising of butter, cream and asiago cheese. Overall, I really enjoyed the cooking class and have definitely gained some confidence and motivation to make the humble gnocchi at home. Oh and don’t forget to check out the Gnocchi alla Sorrentina recipe (keep scrolling down!) if any of you budding cooks or foodies would love to have a go at making and cooking gnocchi. 🙂

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Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina (Serves 4/6)

Ingredients: 

  • 1 kg floury potatoes, roughly same size (We used Ruby Lou during the cooking class)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 300g plain flour
  • 50g ricotta
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • Semolina flour, for dusting

Procedure

Place the unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, but not falling apart.

Drain, allow to cool a little and remove the skins. Mash and leave to cool.

Place the cool mash potatoes in a bowl, season with salt pepper, parmesan, add the ricotta and stir in the egg. Add the flour and work to obtain a smooth but sticky dough.

On a clean work surface, sprinkle the semolina flour and roll the dough into long sausage shapes with a sharp knife slice into 2cm squares.

Tips:

If you like you can use as it is or make a shape with a fork

Sauce:

  • 5 tbs eevoo
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 700g tinned chopped tomatoes, fresh basil
  • 200g mozzarella
  • 100g parmesan freshly grated

Procedure: 

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the garlic and sweet for a minute until soft.

Add the tomatoes and chopped basil, season with salt and pepper as you like and bring to boil.

Lower the heat, half cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.

Bring a large saucepan, put water, add salt and bring to boil.

Drop the gnocchi inside and simmer until they rise to the top.

Lift them with a slotted spoon, drain well and add to tomatoes sauce, stirring the mozzarella and half parmesan and cook for a minute or so the mozzarella begins to melt.

Remove from the heat, sprinkle over some parmesan garnish and put in the over preheat at 180 degrees for 5 minutes until the top is crispy and brown

And voila! There’s your very own Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina. Happy Cooking! 🙂

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I would like to thank Francesco for the invitation to attend the Gnocchi Cooking Class at L’Enoteca. It was so much fun!

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