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Potato Gnocchi with Pancetta, Sage and Mixed Seeds

It’s easier than you think to make gnocchi. Using baked potatoes helps get the perfect texture.

Serves 4  Total time 1 hr 15 mins


• 1kg maris piper potatoes (small to medium size)

• 200g plain flour

• 1 large egg, lightly beaten

• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

To serve 

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 154g diced pancetta

• 50g mixed seeds

• 12 sage leaves

• Grana padano (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and place all the potatoes in a large roasting tin. You want them to be as close in size as possible, so they cook at the same rate – small potatoes are good because they cook quicker!

2. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 45 mins, or until cooked all the way through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool just until you can handle them – but no more as you want them to be hot while doing the next bit. Cut them in half and scoop the potato into a large mixing bowl (save the skins for a snack). You should have about 750g. Mash or put through a ricer. 

3. Add the flour, egg, nutmeg and some black pepper to the potato and combine. It shouldn’t be sticky – if it is, add a little more flour. Divide into four even amounts and on a lightly floured work surface, roll into long sausages 3-4 cm in diameter.

4. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1.5cm pieces. You can leave them as they are or press a pattern into the top with a fork. Transfer to a floured baking sheet as you go. 

5. Place a sauté pan on a medium heat and add the olive oil, the pancetta and seeds. Cook gently for around 5-10 mins until the pancetta and seeds are turning golden. Add the sage leaves.

6. Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi in batches and cook for 2-3 mins until they float to the surface, then use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the water and into the sauté pan. Repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked. Fry until lightly golden and then serve. A grating of grana padano is a lovely optional addition.

Cook’s tip 

Smear the leftover potato skins with a little butter and roll up for a  tasty snack. If you don’t want to use all the gnocchi, freeze them on a baking sheet before cooking and transfer to a tub or ziplock bag.

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