Our March recipe of the month is brought to you by local chef Richard Learmonth. Inspired by the fresh bounty of the Central West Richard made the leap to Orange where he loves to showcase the natural riches of the surrounding region with cuisine that is driven by seasonality and local produce.
Richard says it’s not too late to take advantage of zucchini flower season as they can still be found at local farms and that his preferred potatoes to use for making gnocchi are locally grown Otway Golds, as they taste terrific in this bright and fresh yet nourishing gnocchi dish. We hope you enjoy!
4 large potatoes
1 cup salt
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
2 egg yolks
1 juice of a lemon
100g parmesan cheese grated
6 zucchini flowers, stamen removed and torn lengthways
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1. Bake the potatoes on a bed of salt at 180 degrees for 50 minutes.
2. Cut them in half and scoop the soft flesh out of the skin into a food mill or a bowl for mashing.
3. Mash the potato and mix in the yolks and flour until the dough is uniform. The gnocchi is best with minimal flour but the aim is a mix that is just very slightly sticky.
4. Cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
5. Take half of the dough and roll by hand on a floured bench until it forms a snake-like shape the thickness of a thumb.
6. Repeat with the other half and using a knife or pastry cutter chop the dough into segments resembling the top knuckle of a thumb.
7. Meanwhile, in a saucepan cook the butter until the milk evaporates and the solids begin to caramelise.
8. As it turns nut-brown add the lemon juice to stop the cooking and transfer to a bowl.
9. Drop the gnocchi into lightly salted boiling water and simmer for about 3 minutes or until the gnocchi floats.
10. With a slotted spoon transfer the gnocchi to the bowl of brown butter sauce.
11. Add spoonfuls of the ricotta, half of the parmesan and the flowers and mint.
12. Toss gently to mix and serve with the remaining parmesan scattered over the top.