Gnocchi with spicy pipi sauce and wild herbs

"This dish originated through my love of pipis as a kid, and subsequent love of spicy and intense pipi with XO sauce as an adult," says Monty Kulodrovic. "This dish is Italian at heart, yet for me, it also celebrates the freedom we have in Australia to be proud of who we all are, and also who our neighbours are." Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the shrimp, dry the potato and infuse the herb oil.

You'll need

500 gm rock salt 1 kg (about 4) even-sized floury potatoes, such as sebago or King Edward, scrubbed 100 gm Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated 1 large egg (65gm) 225 gm “00” flour Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp finely chopped prosciutto 2 black garlic cloves, peeled, coarsely chopped (see note) 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped ½ tsp saffron threads 1 kg pipis, soaked in salted water for 1 hour to remove sand, drained 200 ml fish stock 75 gm butter, diced 1 tbsp coarsely chopped herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, tarragon and dill To serve: small wild leaves (wood sorrel, fat hen or baby nasturtiums; see note) To serve: lemon wedges   Herb oil ½ cup each (firmly packed) basil and flat-leaf parsley 2 tbsp coarsely chopped chives 75 ml olive oil   Spice paste 25 gm dried shrimp with good bright colouring, soaked in 60ml water overnight 25 ml olive oil 40 gm (¼ cup) capers in vinegar, drained and rinsed 20 gm prosciutto, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 golden shallot, finely chopped 1 long dried chilli, coarsely chopped 1 small fresh bay leaf 1 tsp lemon thyme


  • 01
  • For herb oil, blanch herbs until bright green (2 minutes), then refresh in iced water. Drain well and squeeze out excess water, then process with olive oil in a blender on high speed until smooth (3 minutes). Cover and refrigerate overnight to infuse, then bring to room temperature and strain through a fine sieve without pushing solids.
  • 02
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Spread rock salt on an oven tray and place potatoes on top and bake until very tender when pierced with a skewer (about 1½ hours). Scoop out flesh (discard skins), pass through a potato ricer or sieve and refrigerate to cool (about 2 hours).
  • 03
  • For spice paste, drain shrimp, reserving 2 tbsp liquid, coarsely chop and set aside. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add shrimp and fry, scraping it from base, until just toasted (3-4 minutes). Add capers, prosciutto, garlic, shallot, chill and herbs, and sauté until shallot is soft (3-4 minutes). Add reserved liquid and cook until evaporated (30 seconds to 1 minute). Discard bay leaf and process sauce in a small blender until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • 04
  • Combine potato, parmesan, egg and 200gm flour in a bowl, season to taste with nutmeg and sea salt, then mix well, adding remaining flour as necessary to form a smooth dough (depending on dryness of potato, you might not need extra flour). Turn out onto a lightly floured bench, roll dough into 1.5cm-thick ropes and cut into 1.5cm pieces, dust with flour and place on a lightly floured tray.
  • 05
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add prosciutto, black and fresh garlic, chilli, saffron and spice paste, stir to combine, then add pipis and fish stock, cover and cook until pipis open (3-4 minutes). Remove pipis and set aside. Stir butter into sauce along with herbs, season to taste, then brush pipi flesh with a little sauce. Keep pipis and sauce warm separately.
  • 06
  • Cook gnocchi in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until they float (2-3 minutes). Transfer to sauce with a slotted spoon and toss gently to coat (10-20 seconds). Spoon gnocchi onto warm plates, arrange pipis on top, scatter with wild leaves, dot with herb oil and serve with lemon wedges.

Note Black garlic, which has been aged and fermented, is available from select grocers and online at The availability of wild leaves depends on your location. Nasturtium leaves are available from select greengrocers and may need to be ordered ahead. Substitute young green salad leaves.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

“A fresh, minerally, juicy Quantico Etna Bianco DOP with hints of preserved lemon, fennel and chamomile is big enough to stand up to the fragrance and spice of the sauce, while adding freshness,” says Monty Kulodrovic.

Featured in

Sep 2015

You might also like...

Pasta recipes


Egg-yolk pasta dough

Roman recipes


Whole-egg pasta dough

Italian recipes


Mozzarella in carrozza

Gnocchi recipes


Basic pasta recipe

Italian frozen dessert recipes


Busiate with crab, ginger and pangrattatto

Italian poultry recipes


Almond and muscovado tiramisu

Pizza recipes


Conchiglione with ragu bianco, anchovies and wilted kale

Six sexy panna cottas


conversion tool