Brown butter gnocchi with poached skate

Brown butter gnocchi with poached skate

Nuovo Mondo
Alan Benson

This recipe will not resemble a traditional gnocchi; the dough is more like batter, a cross between gnocchi and spätzle. It is very quick to make and has none of the pain of rolling and portioning that can make gnocchi tedious to prepare. We use a piping bag and cut it with scissors straight into the pot to avoid mess. If you don’t have time to make the court bouillon, just use salted water with a few lemons cut into it.


Quantity Ingredient
2 litres Court bouillon
400g fresh skate wing, skin removed
80g unsalted butter
4 french shallots, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 lemon, juiced, plus extra lemon wedges to serve
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

Brown butter gnocchi

Quantity Ingredient
400g potatoes, such as royal blue, peeled
100g unsalted butter
150g plain flour
2 free-range eggs
2 tbsp grated parmigiano reggiano cheese


  1. To make the brown butter gnocchi, cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until tender. While they are still hot, push the potatoes through a ricer or mouli. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the butter starts to colour. keep cooking until it is quite dark, then add to the potato. Add the flour, eggs and cheese and mix until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  2. Put the court bouillon in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then add the skate wing. Reduce the heat so it is not a rolling boil – it does not need to be as hot as 100°C to poach the skate. Let the skate steep in the bouillon for about 20 minutes, or until the meat is tender enough to be pulled apart with your hands.
  3. Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the shallot and garlic over low heat. Flake the skate into pieces, discarding the cartilage, and add to the pan, then add the lemon juice, parsley and capers, season with salt and toss to combine. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Spoon the gnocchi batter into a large piping bag fitted with a 2 cm nozzle. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and pipe the gnocchi batter straight into the water, using kitchen scissors to cut it off into 2–4 cm lengths. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the surface, then remove with a slotted spoon when they are done.
  5. Transfer the cooked gnocchi to the pan with the skate sauce. Toss and serve with lemon wedges and extra-virgin olive oil at the table.
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