I love Gnocchi, it is one of my favourite foods. But its such a hit and miss choice, sometimes chefs get it right and sometimes they get it very wrong. So I was really excited to have the opportunity to make some for myself (with the guidance from the head chef of C Restaurant). Well truthfully I did more observing than cooking, but it was still such an educational experience.
C Restaurant is located on the top floor of St Martin’s Tower in Perth’s CBD offering a 360° panoramic of Perth and the Swan River. I was simply taken away as to how beautiful the view was.
My favourite part however was to learn how things actually happen in the kitchen. The restaurant has two kitchens, the first one is located on the floor which prepares dishes and send them out, the second one is a floor above and this is where I reckon all the magic happens.
We started our journey on the second floor where we were introduced to Head Chef Frantisek Ilizi. Though we learnt how it’s done in the restaurant I’m going to translate it so everyone can do this at home too.
To make the several kilos of gnocchi required each day in a commercial kitchen, a very large amount of potatoes are boiled, peeled (whilst still quite warm, we used a tea towel and a knife to protect our hands, but I’m sure if you wanted to wait until the potatoes cooled down at home, you probably could) and then passed through a moulie. A moulie is like a giant masher machince, though it was pretty effective for such a large amount of potatoes, a simple masher would do fine at home as long as all the lumps are gone.
The perfectly mashed potato is then placed on a large surface and seasoned with white pepper, nutmeg, and parmesan. Then you add the binding agents of flour and egg yolks. You have to make sure that potatoes have cooled down to do this stage otherwise you might end up scrambling the eggs.
The dough is then kneaded gently, making sure to not over do it so that the dough is still light and fluffy. You then roll the dough into long rolls, it helps if you divide the dough into smaller batches. We cut the gnocchi’s into little diamond shapes, but if you wanted to do something else, there are multiple gnocchi shaping methods.
The gnocchi are then placed into pots of boiling, salted water and cooked until the pieces float to the top before submerging them into ice cold water and draining them.
The gnocchi is then pan fried until glossy and caramelised on the edges.
Voila! At this point you have made you’re gnocchi! Now all thats left is to make some sauce for it.
To make the sauce whipping cream and gorgonzola are added to the gnocchi pan and heated until it starts foaming, before adding handfuls of fresh spinach. A napolitana sauce is also created with tomato puree, onions and garlic.
Next step is plating up. We start with a layer of the napolitana sauce on the base, before placing the gnocchi in the cream sauce on top to create a second layer. After a sprinkling of parmesan the gnocchi is placed under a grill for about a minute to give it the golden cheesy crust and finally garnished with sun-dried tomato.
Buon appetito! The famous and renowned C Restaurant Gnocchi is complete and it looked oh so delicious! The combination of such a tasty meal, a glass of white wine and the stunning view was such a winner and left me planning when I would return next.
C Restaurant’s famous homemade potato gnocchi which comes in either a Napolitana sauce or spinach & gorgonzola cream as featured above is available as part of the restaurant’s two and three course menus.
Disclaimer: foodie cravings was invited to C Restaurant’s private masterclass.