Baked fennel and leeks with gnocchi

Baked fennel and leeks with gnocchi

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 45 minutes
  • 3 hours
  • Woolworths Cape Point Sauvignon Blanc 2018


  • For the gnocchi:
  • 1.5 kg Woolworths Nicola Mediterranean potatoes, washed and dried
  • 250 g coarse sea salt
  • 110 g flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150 g baby spinach, blanched and roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • For the leeks and fennel:
  • 400 g baby fennel, halved lengthways
  • 2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
  • 600 g baby leeks, halved lengthways and some thinly sliced
  • 1 t thyme, plus extra for serving
  • 2 heads garlic, halved horizontally (unpeeled)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 100 g butter, for frying
  • Parmesan, grated, for sprinkling

Cooking Instructions

To make the gnocchi, preheat the oven to 200°C. Lay the salt on a baking tray and arrange the potatoes on top. Bake for 2 hours until completely cooked through.

While the potatoes are baking, divide the fennel, leeks, thyme and garlic between two baking trays. Drizzle with olive oil, season and sprinkle over the sugar. Roast at 180°C for 30–40 minutes, turning the vegetables occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Once the potatoes are cooked, cut them in half and scoop out all the flesh while still warm. Mash using a potato ricer or push through a large-holed sieve to keep the mash dry and the gnocchi light. Add the flour, spinach and seasoning and mix to form a dough. Take care not to overwork the gnocchi as it will become stodgy.

Dust a work surface with a little flour and shape the gnocchi into logs. Roll the logs into evenly sized cylinders and cut small pillows of gnocchi from each log. Add more flour if dough becomes sticky.

Boil the gnocchi in salted water in batches until they start to rise to the surface of the water. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and place into a bowl of iced water. Once cold, drain the water and coat the gnocchi in olive oil. Set aside, evenly spaced, on a tray until ready to serve.

Divide the butter between two pans and melt over a medium heat until foamy. Fry the gnocchi in the butter until golden and crispy, then sprinkle with thyme. Serve immediately with the leeks, fennel and the butter from the pan, sprinkled with Parmesan.

Cook's note: Keep the potato skins and deep fry them to make a bar snack. Serve with your favourite dip.

I am obsessed with the sticky sweetness of this fennel-and-leek combination - it's addictive with my super easy gnocchi. (This gnocchi recipes is foolproof. It's the ultimate beginner's recipe.)

Browse more gnocchi recipes here

Hannah Lewry Recipe by: Hannah Lewry
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Woolworths TASTE’s Food Editor is passionate about conjuring up fresh ideas for fast and easy dishes that taste as great as they look. Turn to her expertise for everything from time-saving mid-week food to lazy weekend meals. You’ll have a lot of fun in the kitchen while you’re about it.

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