Culinary Tradition

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Mozzarella stuffed Gnocchi with tomato confit

The kitchens and tables in Italy are always filled with the most wonderful treats waiting to be shared. We went on a culinary journey with the food blogger Meike Peters from eat in my kitchen and collected inspiring recipes. Sofie Wochner and Domenico Cortese from The Eatery in Rome welcomed us with big smiles on their faces.  


Mozzarella stuffed Gnocchi with tomato confit

Mozzarella stuffed Gnocchi with tomato confit

inspired by Domenico Cortese and Sofie Wochner from the Eatery in Rome

Ingredients

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS FOR
THE ROASTED BELL PEPPER
1 bell pepper
3 cloves garlic
10 g parsley
150 ml / ⅔ cup olive oil
Salt
Pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR
THE GNOCCHI
500 g / 18 ounces floury
potatoes
100 g / ¾ cup plus
1 tablespoon flour, type 00
1 egg
50 g / 2 ounces
Parmesan, grated
Salt
Pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

 

INGREDIENTS FOR
THE CONFIT TOMATOES
8 tomatoes, preferably
Piccadilly tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh savory
or 10 sage leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
10 sprigs fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
250 ml / 1 cup olive oil
Salt
Pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR
THE FILLING
150 g / 5 ounces
mozzarella di buffala
50 g / 2 ounces
Parmesan, grated
3 sprigs fresh basil
½ tablespoon olive oil
Basil for serving
Salt
Pepper

Preparation

PREPARATION THE ROASTED BELL PEPPER
Place the pepper on the gas flame of your cooker set on medium heat, or the top shelf of your oven on 250°C/475°F. Turn the pepper every now and then, so that the skin turns dark and forms blisters evenly on all sides. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop parsley leaves, and peel and crush garlic cloves. Use a small, sharp knife to peel the pepper, cut it in half, and scrape out and discard any seeds and fibers. Cut into strips and transfer to a bowl. Add crushed garlic, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover completely with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature overnight.

PREPARATION THE CONFIT TOMATOES
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Score the skin of each tomato. Blanch them for about 20 seconds in the boiling water, then transfer to the ice water with a slotted spoon. Use a small, sharp knife to gently pull off the skin without cutting them open. Transfer to a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and cover with cling film. Let them rest in the fridge overnight. Take the tomatoes out of the fridge about 1 hour before roasting them. Preheat the oven to 130°C/275°F. Peel and crush the garlic cloves. Spread the herbs and garlic on top of the tomatoes and cover everything completely with olive oil. Roast for about 4 hours or until they are soft. Remove from the heat and transfer the tomatoes and oil to an airtight container.

PREPARATION THE GNOCCHI & THE FILLING
Boil the potatoes in unsalted water for about 30 - 40 minutes. or until soft. Drain and let them cool for about 10 minutes. Peel the potatoes and press them through a potato ricer onto a working surface. Form a little well in the middle, and add the egg, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Using your hands and a dough scraper, mix everything together. Add the flour in batches and mix quickly until the gnocchi mixture is combined. Add more flour, if it’s too sticky, but mind not to over mix it. Form the gnocchi while the mixture is still warm: Cut off a handful of dough, keep the remaining dough covered with a tea towel, and roll it into a 2.5cm / 1 inch-thick roll. Cut into 1cm / 0.5 inch-thick slices. Using 2 fingers, make a dent in the middle of each slice. Add a tablespoon of the filling and close the gnocchi by rolling it in your hands. Transfer the gnocchi to a baking sheet dusted with flour. When all the gnocchi are filled, cook them immediately in generously salted water for about 3 - 4 minutes or until they float. (To save them for later, freeze them!)

Purée the mozzarella, parmesan, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and transfer to the fridge for about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the plates. Arrange the confit tomatoes and roasted peppers on top, drizzle with the oil used to roast the tomatoes, and sprinkle with fresh basil.

 



Sofie and Domenico from The Eatery, Rome

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"We try to use the products in a new way, but still keeping the roots in the simplicity of the Italian kitchen."

About


A Day in Rome with Sofie Wochner and Domenico Cortese

by Meike Peters

Imagine your friends throw an opulent dinner party in the pulsing heart of Rome on a Saturday night und you take over their kitchen hours before the guests arrive with a film team of four to peek over your hosts' shoulders into their pots and pans. Sofie Wochner and Domenico Cortese dealt with our little invasion with remarkable patience. They even welcomed us with big smiles on their faces and a plate full of fresh buttery Danish cinnamon buns in their hands.

The passionate couple is a confident team in the kitchen, they complement each other and combine two worlds that are geographically and culturally far apart, but somehow match smoothly. Sofie is a Danish baker and pastry chef with the impulsive temper of an Italian Signorina, self-taught Chef Domenico comes from Calabria, from the southern tip of Italy, but totally lacks the Mediterranean drama that one would expect. His voice is calm and his movements are concentrated, he's quiet and focused when he works in the kitchen. He says he was born in the wrong country, he feels much closer to the northern European mentality, whereas his woman only feels as free and inspired as she wants to be when she's in her adopted city, in Rome.

A city kitchen is often a space of improvisation and elaborate compromises, the smallest but also the most charming room of a flat.  

It's the place where everybody meets at a party, making use of every square inch, squeezed and snuggled in, the happy crowd talks, eats, and drinks until dawn.Our hosts' kitchen is just such a magical place, but it's also a room where the two chefs manage to create the most wonderful dishes for private gatherings, catering, and highly anticipated supper clubs. When it's time to open the doors for their Eatery In Rome pop-up restaurant in their flat's dining room, the kitchen turns into a busy laboratory functioning like clockwork.

Loaves of bread and cakes baking in batches in the single oven, pillowy gnocchi rolled and shaped on the wooden board at the window, and bell peppers roasting in the flames of the old gas cooker. The room is bright, facing the couple's balcony, the home of Domenico's beautiful little herb garden where basil, thyme, and rosemary grow happily under Rome's ever shining sun - all waiting to be used in the masters' glorious recipes, like their Stuffed Gnocchi with Mozzarella di Bufala, Confit Tomatoes and Flame-roasted Bell Peppers (this is the recipe that the couple shared with us). It's one of Domenico's original creations, the potato gnocchi melt in your mouth like fluffy clouds, the creamy filling makes it smooth and fits perfectly to the candy-like tomatoes and smoky peppers. It's a delicious stunner, a colourful homage to the beauty of Italian cuisine.


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