"I remember that Mum's gnocchi was the best back when I was a kid, I used to love it," says Alejandro Cancino. "Tuco is an Argentinian tomato sauce with either chicken or beef – it's light and a little watery. We had a ritual in our house where whoever got the bay leaf had to wash up."
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 2 small chicken Marylands (about 250gm each)
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced
- 800 gm canned whole peeled tomatoes
- 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock or water
- 1 large fresh bay leaf
- 700 gm (about 3-4) Dutch cream potatoes, scrubbed
- 100 gm (⅔ cup) plain flour
- 2 eggs
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Grated parmesan, to serve
- 1Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides (2-3 minutes each side), then add remaining oil and the onion, garlic and carrot and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent (6-8 minutes). Add tomato, stock and bay, season to taste, reduce heat to very low and simmer very gently until chicken is falling from the bone (2-3 hours). Cool briefly, then coarsely shred chicken meat, discarding skin and bones, and season to taste. Break up tomatoes with a spoon.
- 2Meanwhile, preheat oven to 170°C. Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork, then roast on a baking tray lined with baking paper until they can be easily pierced all the way through with a skewer (1¼-1½ hours). While still hot, quarter potatoes lengthways, scrape out flesh and press through a fine sieve into a bowl. Weigh out 400gm potato then mix with flour, eggs and nutmeg and season to taste with salt, being careful not to overmix. Divide dough into 4, and roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a thin log, about 2cm wide. Cut into 2cm lengths, lightly dust with flour and roll each piece down the back of a fork, pressing lightly to form gnocchi. Transfer to a lightly floured tray.
- 3Cook gnocchi in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until they float (1 minute). Gently transfer to sauce with a slotted spoon, toss to coat, then top with parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil to serve.
Drink suggestion: Medium-bodied red bonarda from Mendoza. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.