We've asked the eliminated contestants from MasterChef: Back to Win to share with us the dish that made them fall in love with cooking — because even world-class chefs had to start somewhere. And we've all got plenty of time — and the reality TV inspiration — to put our culinary skills to the test.
Laura Sharrad says that this gnocchi dish is a combination of dishes she and her partner Max learned to make from their nonnas.
"Gnocchi was the first dish I learned how to make from my nonna. So it's always such a special thing to make and to eat for me. Gnocchi is just my favourite thing ever. It's pure comfort. I think in winter in the middle of a pandemic, a bowl of gnocchi can sometimes be that warm hug you need.
"Then the pork ragu itself is actually my husband Max's nonna's recipe. I never got to meet her. She passed away before we got together. But I think this is like a nice mix of the two of us together in a dish and the memories that we associate with our childhood. It's comforting, it's special and it's homely."
- For the gnocchi:
500g royal blue potatoes, peeled and cut in half
125-150g 00 flour
Pinch of salt
- For the spiced pork ragu:
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
650g pork mince
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground clove
4 tins diced tomatoes
1 cup red wine
Salt and black pepper
- To make the gnocchi, bring your potatoes to a boil in a pot covered with salted cold water. Allow potatoes to cook until they are tender.
- Strain and pass through a tammi or potato ricer.
- Gently incorporate the flour and salt into the potato, without overworking the mixture to ensure you have light, fluffy gnocchi.
- Roll the gnocchi into 2cm thick long noodles, and cut to desired size to cook. Cook in salted boiling water until they float.
- To make the pork ragu, fry off onion, garlic, celery and carrot in enough olive oil to cover until golden.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in pork mince, along with the spices and brown off, then deglaze with wine and add in the tomatoes.
- Allow it to bubble away on a low to medium heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until reduced and thickened.
- Serve with gnocchi and grated parmiggiano cheese.
- Serves 6
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 1 hour 30 minutes
- Total Time
- 1 hour, 49 minutes, 59 seconds