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Friuli's Delicious Prune Gnocchi

Widespread throughout Friuli-Venezia Giulia in northeastern Italy, prune gnocchi date back to when the region was part of the realm of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. You can find the potato-based gnocchi all around Trieste, the region’s capital, where, despite their sweet taste, they’re often served as a starter prior to a meat course. If you wish to temper their sweetness, top with some grated smoked ricotta before serving. These sweet prune gnocchi topped with cinnamon breadcrumbs are a traditional starter in Friuli.


Prune Gnocchi

Recipe: Joëlle | Skill Level: Intermediate | Time: 1 hr 40 mins


Ingredients to serve 4-6

● 2¼ lb. potatoes (1 kg) ● 1⅔ cups ‘00’ flour (200 g) ● ¾ stick butter (80 g) ● ¼ cup brown sugar (60 g) ● 2 oz. breadcrumbs (50 g) ● 20 pitted prunes (or substitute fresh plums if in season) ● 1 large egg ● cinnamon powder ● salt


Step 1

Wash the potatoes. Leaving the peel on, boil them whole for around 40-45 minutes. At the end of cooking, check that they are well cooked by piercing the heart with a knife tip. Step 2 Soften the prunes in warm water for 20 minutes.

Place the flour on the work surface. Shape it onto a mound and hollow out a well in the centre. While they’re still hot, peel the potatoes and mash them in the flour well. Add the egg and a nice pinch of salt. Begin kneading the flour and potatoes until the dough is soft and uniform.

Step 3

Flour the work surface and make round and flat discs of around 2 oz. each – you will get 18-20.

Step 4

Place a prune and a pinch of brown sugar in the centre of each disc, then close it by forming a ball. Gradually place the gnocchi on a floured tray.

Step 5

Flavour the breadcrumbs with 2 oz. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Melt half the butter in a pan, then brown the breadcrumbs for 3 minutes, stirring.

Step 6

Cook the gnocchi, half at a time, in a large pot with plenty of boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, until they float. Melt the remaining butter for the sauce. Drain the gnocchi and serve immediately, seasoned with the melted butter and cinnamon breadcrumbs.


Courtesy: lacucinaitaliana, Anna Pioli, Riccardo Lettieri, Beatrice Prada

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