RECIPE BY: Leonardo Catarcia, Head Chef of the Argus Dining Room, Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel

Savour Leo’s dishes at Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel, The Argus Dining Room restaurant, open to public for breakfast lunch and dinner, seven days.

Prep: 15 minutes / Bake: 2 hours 15 minutes / Serves: 6

Ingredients

Gnocchi

  • 1kg raw spuds (find yours at a local farm gate during your visit – Dutch Creams and Desiree are the best)
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 150 g buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 1 egg (Googie Eggs – a small-scale free-range farm, Clydesdale) 
  • Salt & pepper

Crunchy speck and kale

  • 200 g speck thinly sliced
  • 150 g Tuscan kale thinly sliced

Taleggio Cream

  • 2 sliced shallots 
  • 250 g chardonnay
  • 100 g sherry
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 300 g pure cream
  • 80 g taleggio 

Method

Gnocchi

Roast your whole potatoes in the oven until cooked – this should take around an hour – and then while still hot, pass the soft potato centres through a mouli or ricer into a bowl.  Let the potatoes cool down and then mix with the remaining ingredients to form a dough.

Flour your work surface to shape your dough. If the dough is too sticky add a little more flour, but be careful not to make it too dry − too much flour will make the gnocchi hard and heavy.  Shape your dough into a roll, the thickness of a finger. Using a sharp knife, cut each roll into even pieces 2−4 cm long.  As you cut your gnocchi, lay them on a floured tea towel in a single layer until you are ready to cook.

Taleggio Cream

Cook your sliced shallots in a frying pan with some butter until golden, deglaze with wine and sherry and add bay leaves, black peppercorn and juniper berries. Reduce your liquid by two thirds.

Bring your cream to the boil, stir in the taleggio and add the reduction.  Blend with a hand mixer and pass the liquid through a fine sieve.

Crunchy speck and kale

Place your speck in an oven at 60 degrees and dehydrate for 2 hours.  Quickly deep fry your kale until it is crunchy.  Rest on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. 

Ready to serve

Boil a large saucepan of salted water and add the gnocchi until they start floating.  You may need to do this in small batches to prevent the gnocchi from sticking together.  As they rise to the surface, remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon, and add them into a pan with the taleggio cream.  Toss to cover the gnocchi in the delicious sauce and plate up. Decorate your dish with crunchy speck and kale and you are ready to serve.  Pair this dish with a chardonnay that has spent a bit of time in oak and wouldn’t be overpowered by the richness of the dish, otherwise drink with a lighter red like a pinot or a young sangiovese.