Fresh flavours are allowed to sing in this simple crab pasta recipe from Stephen Crane. Homemade gnocchi is a superb treat that isn't as difficult as it may sound. This starter makes a hearty dish and filling enough to be transformed into a seafood main.
As head chef of the idyllic Ockenden Manor in the countryside of Sussex, chef Stephen Crane cooks refined, French-influenced food, and given his pedigree, that’s no great surprise.
Start your gnocchi by placing three large potatoes into a pan of water and bringing to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook gently to avoid breaking the skin. Once the potatoes are soft, drain and mash thoroughly
3 large potatoes, peeled
Allow the potatoes to cool until luke warm. In a large mixing bowl combine the mashed potato, rice flour, herbs and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well until totally combined
100g of oriental rice flour
2 tbsp of fresh chervil, finely chopped
2 tbsp of dill, finely chopped
2 tbsp of tarragon, finely chopped
Add in the brown crab meat until mixture forms a soft dough (you may need to add a little more rice flour - the dough should not be too sticky)
110g of cooked brown crab meat
To see if the mixture is correctly seasoned, take a small amount of the mixture and roll into a small log on a board. Cook in boiling salted water (as soon as the gnocchi floats to the surface, leave for 1 more 1 minute then remove). Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary
Put the mixture into a piping bag and cut an opening of 1cm in diameter. Dust a chopping board with some more of the rice flour and pipe long logs across the length of the board – roll along the board to coat in flour. Repeat until all the mix is used up
Dust a sharp knife with flour and cut the gnocchi into logs 4cm in length
Cook in boiling water, as above. If not using immediately, plunge into ice water to cool and you can store the gnocchi coated in oil in the fridge. This will keep for up to two days