Sometimes you come across pickled walnuts on a dusty shelf, as a kind of oddity. However, there’s nothing odd about the flavour – it is a wonderful combination of sweet and tangy nuttiness. In this recipe it pairs beautifully with mozzarella and a herby dressing. Making gnocchi is so simple, it is a shame anyone buys them pre-made.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g floury potatoes,
    such as Maris Piper
  • 125g Italian Tipo 00 flour,
    plus extra for dusting
  • 4 buffalo mozzarella balls
  •  2 pickled walnuts, sliced
  •  2 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese

For the green herb and lemon dressing

  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chervil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh French tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil, plus extra if needed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water for around
    30 minutes until cooked through. Drain, then use a
    wooden spoon to push the potatoes through a finemesh
    sieve into a bowl.
  2. Gently sprinkle the flour in batches into the mashed potato, folding through to combine each time until you are left with an elastic, dough-like mash.
  3. Lightly flour a board and roll the dough out into long sausages, roughly the circumference of a butcher’s sausage. Cut the sausages into 3cm pieces and place on a floured plate or tray until ready to use. Cover with cling film so they don’t dry out.
  4. Bring a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi in batches, 10 or 12 at a time, so you don’t overcrowd the pan. The gnocchi cook quickly – you will know they are ready when they float and bob on the surface of the water. Drain on paper towels when done.
  5. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until you have a bright green sauce. Add more rapeseed oil if needed – the consistency should be quite loose and runny.
  6. To finish, divide the gnocchi into bowls, then tear over the mozzarella into large pieces. Sprinkle with the sliced pickled walnuts and grated pecorino, then drizzle
    generously with the green herb and lemon dressing.