Chestnut and cavolo nero gnocchi with Italian cheese and shaved chestnut

Serves 4 Starters and mains




  • 750g smallish fluffy potatoes such as king Edwards
  • 225g cavolo nero or curly kale 8tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 90g cooked chestnuts
  • 85g hard Italian cheese, finely grated
  • finely grated zest 11/2 lemons
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 70g chestnut flour, plus extra to dust

To serve

  • hard Italian cheese, grated 2 cooked chestnuts, shaved extra virgin olive oil to taste vincotto or balsamic to taste (optional)


Preheat the oven to 210C/
190C F/Gas 6. Prick the skins of the potatoes with a skewer, put on a baking tray and cook in the oven for around 1 hour until soft.

Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the stems of the cavolo nero or curly kale and wash in cold water. You should have approx. 150g.

Heat 1tbsp oil in a large wok or frying pan with a lid and, off the heat, add the garlic and the cavolo nero – it doesn’t need to be dried after washing but take care when adding to the oil as it will spatter. Put back on the heat, stir well, pop the lid on and steam for 3 minutes. Drain and allow to cool a little, then squeeze all the moisture from the leaves and finely chop. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain more.

When the potatoes are cooked, cut them in half while still hot and scoop the flesh into a sieve set over a bowl; you should have around 600g flesh. Grate the chestnuts and add to the potato. Using a ladle, push everything through the sieve with a circular motion.

Add the cheese and lemon zest to the potato with around 65g of the chopped cavolo nero, reserving the rest to serve.

Add the egg yolks, flour, some crushed sea salt flakes and black pepper. Lightly mix with your hands just to bring the mixture together.

Preheat the oven to a low heat, ready to keep the cooked gnocchi warm. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Dust a clean surface with a little extra chestnut flour and divide the mixture into 6 even-sized pieces. Roll out, a portion at a time, into 18cm-long sausage shapes and snip each into 8 pieces with scissors. Add, in batches, to the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they float to the surface. Scoop out with a slotted spoon on to a tray lined with a double thickness of kitchen paper. Allow to cool completely.

Heat 2tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the gnocchi in two batches, on each side, until golden. Keep warm in the oven.

Heat the remaining oil and fry the reserved cavolo nero until just slightly crisp.

Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle the grated cheese and shaved chestnut over. Add the crispy greens and a grind of black pepper and spoon over some oil and vincotto or balsamic, if using, to serve.

Food styling : Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling : Angela Dukes
Food styling : Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling : Angela Dukes


Get Premium access to all the latest content online

Subscribe and view full print editions online... Subscribe