Aug 12 2009

Potato Gnocchi with Sauteed Prawns in a Burnt Butter Sauce – Master Chef

Published by at 4:00 pm under Master Chef

This is one of my favourite starters from the Master Chef Australia first series. I would reccomend this after a nice leek and potatoe soup accompinaied with crusty bread and a good wine.


  • 1.5kg desiree potatoes
  • 1 x 55g egg
  • 2 tbs grana parmesan
  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 300g fresh prawn meat
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 tsp salted baby capers, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Verjuice (or if you cannot get some lemon juice will be fine)

Sage butter

  • 1 bunch sage
  • 200g unsalted butter

  • Method

      Place unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan of cold water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. The potatoes must be neither under nor over cooked, test with a skewer -when it is easily inserted, they are cooked (avoid testing too frequently otherwise they may become water logged).

      Drain potatoes into a colander, cover with a fresh tea towel and place colander over the original pot in a warm place for 10 minutes to drain completely.

      Peel potatoes and pass through a mouli (if you do not have a mouli you can just mash them but it’s a lot more work. I went to Ikea and bought this great potatoe masher you don’t even have to peel them AU$20.00), in batches, into the original dry saucepan.

      Gently mix in the egg, salt and parmesan.

      Sieve in the flour and combine with a few swift folds.

      Tip potato mixture out onto a lightly floured bench and gently work it into a smooth homogeneous (uniform) mound.

      Using a pastry scrape, scrape down the bench, wash and dry your hands and lightly flour the surface again.

      Cut off ¼ of the potato mix at a time and roll out into a sausage shape to a thickness of about 1½ cm.

      Cut each sausage into 2cm pieces. Makes about 60 pieces.

      Place these on a tray lined with grease proof paper, ready for cooking in salted boiling water (if you are preparing this early it would be advised to cover them with cling wrap, ensure you uncover them about 10 minutes before cooking).

      For the sage butter, heat the butter in a shallow frying pan. When starting to bubble, add the sage leaves and cook until crisp and almost translucent. Pour through a sieve placed over a bowl.

      Recover the leaves and spread them on paper towel to drain. Keep warm. Reserve butter.

      When ready to cook the gnocchi, heat 20g of unsalted butter in a wide frying pan. It should reach beurre noisette (nut brown stage) before adding 100g of prawn meat.

      Sauté for one minute, deglaze with a dash of verjuice and add 2 tsp of capers.

      Cook gnocchi in a large pan of boiling salted water in small batches of 20 pieces at a time.

      Shortly after the gnocchi has risen to the surface (test to see if it is cooked) remove with a strainer, drain and add to the pan.

      Toss the pan to coat the gnocchi in the butter.

      Season with salt and pepper and add 1 tbs of chopped parsley.

      Spoon among 2 of serving plates and top with fried sage leaves.


      Deglaze the pan with a little of the sage butter previously saved and pour over the finished gnocchi.

      Repeat twice more to complete 6 serves.

      Serves 6 as Entree

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