The herb gnocchi can be made and stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks and then cooked from frozen.
For the herb gnocchi:
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan oven / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
Bake the potatoes for 1 hour until cooked through – give them a little squeeze to check they’re soft.
Over a high heat, bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil and season with 1 tsp salt.
In a large bowl use a spatula to cream the Saint Agur Blue Cheese until smooth.
When the potatoes are cool to the touch, remove the skins. Push the potatoes through a fine sieve into the bowl with the creamed Saint Agur.
Add the egg yolks, flour, herbs and seasoning, mix until evenly combined. Voilà! This is the gnocchi dough.
Turn out the dough onto a work surface and roll it to a thick cylindrical shape. Cut this into 2 equal-sized pieces.
Roll one piece back and forth until it’s reduced to a thickness of 2cm (about the thickness of your thumb – or certainly my thumb).
Cut the roll into 2cm pieces – if you dip the blade in flour, it’ll stop the gnocchi sticking.
Roll each piece back into a cylinder shape, and as you go place the pieces on a lightly floured tray. Repeat with the remaining piece of gnocchi dough to create more pieces.
Now you are ready to cook your own gnocchi…
Before cooking, prepare a bowl of iced water and have a slotted spoon ready to remove the cooked gnocchi pieces. Also have ready a lightly oiled tray covered lightly with clingfilm.
Blanch the gnocchi for 1 minute in the pan of boiling water. You will know when the gnocchi is cooked as it will rise to the top of your pot. Remove the gnocchi with the slotted spoon and place the gnocchi into the iced water to stop the cooking process.
Place the cooled gnocchi on the tray. Refrigerate the gnocchi until required (or store in the freezer for up to two weeks).
For the Saint Agur Blue Cheese and watercress sauce:
In a small saucepan bring the Saint Agur and crème fraîche to the boil, stirring until the cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool.
In a large saucepan on a low heat, gently sweeten the shallot in the butter for 2 minutes until soft with no colour.
Increase the heat to high, add the spinach, watercress, parsley, salt and pepper and stir until completely wilted and cooked.
Leave to cool (or evenly spread the mixture over a large baking tray so it cools quickly).
Transfer the cooled mixture to a jug blender, add the water and blend until smooth. Now add the Saint Agur mixture and blend again until smooth. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the gnocchi and fry without turning for 4-5 minutes, until the pieces are golden on one side. Flip the gnocchi over and add the peas, broad beans, radish slices and 1 tablespoon of water. Cover with a lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a saucepan heat the watercress sauce – but not to boiling point.
Spoon the hot watercress sauce into the middle of each plate. Spoon over the gnocchi with the peas, beans and radish. Top with the watercress leaves. Scatter over crumbs of Saint Agur and, if using, finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Serve, perhaps with a chilled bottle of Soave or your favourite white wine from Northern Italy, said to be the home of gnocchi.