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Nettle gnocchi with garlic sauce
entrée for 6

As the Monday night class will attest I have to own to the grittiest most disgusting nettle gnocchi I have ever tasted a reminder that washing is very, very important. With nettle one has the added complication that because of the sting it is not possible to lick them to see how gritty they are.

The only solution is very deep washing in a bucket or deep tub, plunging them several times, allow them to rise to the top, and skimming them off. Repeat the process 3 times, blanche and refresh a couple of leaves and taste to ensure that you have removed all the grit.

4 bunches of nettles
30g salt
splash EV olive oil
1 whole nutmeg, finely grated
5g Maldon sea salt
80g strong flour
50g white polenta
122g whole egg (2 extra large eggs)
25g egg yolk (1 extra large egg yolk)

to cook
30g salt

for the garlic sauce
50g p/w garlic, finely chopped
100g unsalted butter
black pepper, freshly ground
50g white wine reduction
300g pouring cream
Maldon sea salt to taste
Parmigiano Reggiano, finely and freshly grated…about 60g

essential equipment
thick rubber gloves

Wearing the rubber gloves strip the leaves from the nettles. Put a large pot of water on to boil, add the 30g salt and splash of EV olive oil. When you have a good rolling boil add the nettles and stirring bring back to the boil. Cook for one minute and then tip into a colander and allow to drain and cool.

When they are cool enough to handle, put them into a clean tea towel and squeeze all of the liquid out and weigh the blanched nettles…you need 600g

If you don’t get 500g to work the recipe use the spreadsheet I have emailed you to work it out precisely. This will also make it easy for you if you have access to wild nettles.

Puree the nettles in a Thermomix or blender. Grate the nutmeg into the nettle puree, add the salt and then the flour, polenta and whole eggs and egg yolks and mix thoroughly. It will be a very wet mix. Allow the mix to stand for at least 30 minutes before proceeding.

to cook the gnocchi
Put a large pot of water on to boil and add the 30g salt. When you have a good rolling boil, using two teaspoons, dip them into the pot, then shape a quenelle and drop it into the water. This is your test – it should hold, but if it doesn’t add a small amount of flour and keep testing.

Put a splash of EV oil onto a stray and smear it over the tray, carefully lift the gnocchi out of the water, drain them and then tip them onto the tray. When you have cooked all the gnocchi allow them to cool for 15 minutes then, wearing food service gloves very carefully roll them through the oil.

for the garlic sauce
Sauté the garlic in the butter with a little salt and a generous amount of pepper. When the garlic is golden add the white wine reduction, bring to the boil and then add the cream and cook until you have a good sauce consistency.

to this point can be done in advance

to serve
pre heat oven to 200°C

Spoon a small amount of the sauce on the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Put the gnocchi on top and spoon the remaining sauce over the top. Grate the Parmesan over the top and put it into the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes until bubbling and golden.

the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
Ann Oliver

champagne editor
Kaaren Palmer


Jan Bowman
Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

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copyright © text, recipes and images Ann Oliver & Kaaren Palmer 2016.