Gnocchi with mussels and saffron

05 April 2013
Gnocchi with mussels and saffron

(Serves four)

2tbs olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled
250g shelled mussels
350g tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Pinch of saffron threads, lightly crushed
2tbs chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper
Alternative fish: baby squid or clams

For the gnocchi 1kg potatoes
200g plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg, lightly beaten

Shape the dough into long rolls about 1.5 cm in diameter, then cut into 2cm lengths. Press them gently against the side of a grater and spread out on a lightly floured tea towel.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil with the garlic clove in a saucepan. When it begins to colour, remove and discard the garlic. Add the mussels and tomatoes to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the saffron into a small bowl, add a little lukewarm water and let it soak. Stir the saffron and its soaking water into the sauce, season with salt and pepper, stir in the parsley and remove from the heat.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi in batches and cook until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce. When all the gnocchi have been added, transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Taken from Fish: Recipes From the Sea, £24.95, Phaidon

RECOMMENDED WINE For a seafood recipe like this, I'd pick wines from the seaside. I recently tasted some great Assyrtiko from Santorini in Greece. It had good body and acidity, and a touch of iodine, which would complement the dish well. Another region to check out is Provence. I'd suggest whites such as Cassis, Bandol or Palette. They tend to be richer and spicier (though sometimes oaky). You want to look for a less oaky style to retain a good amount of freshness needed for such a dish.
Xavier Rousset is co-owner of Texture and 28°-50°, in London

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