Cep gnocchi with wild mushrooms

Not yet rated

This stunning cep gnocchi recipe takes this classic to the next level. The gnocchi are coated with a rich mushroom ketchup and blended whey emulsion for an intense mushroom flavour that holds plenty of richness without being cloying. This dish is designed to be served as a primi (first) course, and was developed by Dean for Robin's Gill's restaurant, Sorella, where he is head chef.

First published in 2018




Cep gnocchi

Mushroom ketchup

Whey emulsion

To serve


  • Blender
  • Drum sieve
  • Stick blender


Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
Prick the potatoes all over, place on a baking tray and bake in the oven until soft, for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours
Meanwhile, make the mushroom ketchup. This will make more than is needed for this starter but can be added to any mushroom dish for a beautiful depth of flavour. Preheat the vegetable oil in a deep pan or deep-fryer to 180°C. Once up to temperature, add the mushrooms and fry until golden, cooking in four batches to avoid overcrowding. Drain and place on plenty of kitchen paper to remove as much oil as possible. Set aside
Add a dash of oil to a pan. Add the shallots, cook until golden, then add the salt and pepper. Add the garlic and herbs, cook until lightly coloured, then add the drained mushrooms. Pour in the balsamic reduction and reduce until the mushrooms are nicely glazed
Deglaze the pan with the reduced Madeira and cover with the pomace oil. Remove from the heat, allow to cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge
  • 250ml of Madeira, reduced by half
  • 175ml of pomace oil (1)
  • white truffle oil, optional
  • 150ml of mushroom dashi, as needed
When the potatoes are soft, cut in half, scoop the flesh out of the skins and pass through a drum sieve into a bowl while still hot (you can use a potato ricer if preferred but the texture will not be as fine)
Add the remaining ingredients and fold together very lightly until a dough just starts to form. Cut into six pieces and roll each piece out on trays into 2.5cm cylinders. Wrap the trays in cling film and cook in an oven set to 100% steam and full fan for 20 minutes. Cut into 3cm lengths and set aside – steaming the gnocchi before boiling provides a lighter texture
If you don’t have a steam oven, cut the cylinders into 3cm pieces and simmer in a large pan until the gnocchi rise to the surface of the pan, for about 2 minutes. Drain and chill in the fridge
Blend roughly 150g of the chilled ketchup base with the 150ml of mushroom dashi until it reaches the consistency of a smooth light purée. Check seasoning – you can add a very small drop of white truffle oil, if desired. Store the remaining mushroom ketchup base in the fridge and blend when needed for other dishes
For the whey emulsion, bring the whey to the boil in a large pan and add the xanthan gum, oil, salt and pepper. Add the diced butter piece by piece, blending with a stick blender until you have a smooth emulsion
Warm the mushroom ketchup over a low heat in a pan with a little whey emulsion, enough to achieve the consistency of double cream. When ready to serve, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, cook the halved chestnut mushrooms on a barbecue or griddle pan until nicely golden. Boil the gnocchi for 2 minutes until they float to the surface, then drain
Sauté the seasonal wild mushrooms in foaming butter until golden, then add the chestnut mushrooms and stir through enough mushroom ketchup to coat. Stir through the gnocchi and divide between plates. Grate over the Parmesan and serve
First published in 2018

With an unwavering dedication to finding the best ingredients around and amplifying their flavour through a variety of techniques, Dean Parker is an exciting young chef who rose through Robin Gill's restaurant empire and now heads up his own restaurant in Glasgow.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.