Parisian gnocchi

Parisian gnocchi

Margaret Fulton Favourites
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

Three happy years of my life were spent training at the East Sydney Hotel and Restaurant Cookery School. There, I was introduced to international and, in particular, French cooking as dictated by Escoffier, the master of French cuisine.

One of the great joys was learning about dishes that can be made with choux pastry. Not only can it be used to make profiteroles and éclairs, it can form the base for many savoury dishes like gougères and gnocchi.

Parisian gnocchi, also known as gnocchi fondenti, is a dish typical of the Emilia- Romagna region in Italy. The Italian ‘fondenti’ literally translates as ‘melt-in-your-mouth’.


Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups water
75g butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
a good pinch ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups cream
3 tablespoons grated gruyère or other swiss-style cheese
A pinch ground cayenne


  1. Sift the flour onto a piece of greaseproof paper and set aside. Heat the water in a heavy saucepan with the butter, salt and nutmeg. When boiling and once the butter has melted, pour in the flour, stirring rapidly. When the mixture begins to form a ball remove from heat and cool. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. When the mixture is smooth and shiny beat in half the grated parmesan.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to a gentle simmer and place a rack topped with a tea towel next to it. Use 2 tablespoons to scoop, shape and drop tablespoon measures of mixture into gently simmering water in batches. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they rise to the surface. Lift out with a slotted spoon and arrange on the toweltopped rack. This amount should be cooked in three batches. Gnocchi can be prepared to this stage several hours ahead, or even the night before. Store in the refrigerator, covered.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cover the base of two large, shallow ovenproof dishes with 1⁄2 cup of the cream and arrange the cooked gnocchi on top in a layer. Heat the remaining cream with the remaining grated parmesan and Swiss-style cheese and spoon over the gnocchi. Sprinkle over the cayenne and bake for about 15 minutes, until gnocchi have puffed, the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden.
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