My week of gnocchi in Cape Town

I have developed a strange fondness for the potato and flower dumpling recently.

While doing a Camps Bay Watch patrol with Barry Engelbrecht he divulged who made the best gnocchi in Cape Town: Al Dente in Woodstock.

On Thursday evening we had gnocchi at Tamboerswinkel which is really good.

On Friday evening I was very excited to get a table at La Boheme, which in itself is a small miracle. They didn’t have my usual favourite of pesto/chilli gnocchi on the black board, in it’s place was gnocchi served with oxtail. On a wet, cold winters evening in Cape Town oxtail and gnocchi is the perfect combination. It was deliciously comforting.

IMG-20130831-01352So for the finale we went to Al Dente for lunch on Saturday. We ordered the Gnocchi with Blue Cheese as well as the Gnocchi Amatritiana. Barry was right, it literary melts in your mouth. It was outstanding. So the best gnocchi in Cape Town is definitely at Al Dente.

Address: Upper East Side, 31 Brickfield Road, Woodstock.

Telephone number: 021 447 8684.

Here is a slight twist on the traditional gnocchi recipe:

Stale Bread Gnocchi

Ingredients:

1 loaf of stale bread
2 garlic gloves-minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
4 cups milk
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
4 eggs
8 cups or chicken stock
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh sage

Place the bread cubes in a medium size bowl and pour the milk over the bread.
Mix thoroughly and let the mixture soak for 30 minutes.
Drain the bread cubes and squeeze out the excess milk.
Place the bread cubes back into the bowl and add the garlic, pepper, thyme and pinch of nutmeg.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and add a pinch of salt.
Beat eggs until thoroughly mixed.
Add the eggs to the bread mixture and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
In a large stockpot, bring the stock to a boil.
Roll the bread mixture into 1 to 2 inch balls and drop into the boiling stock.  When the stock returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until the gnocchi have puffed up and float to the top.
Remove using a slotted spoon, drain and arrange on a serving dish.
Drizzle with the melted butter, burnt sage and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.  Serve hot.