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Gnocchi with pork and fennel ragu

Gnocchi with pork and fennel ragu

Preparation time
30 mins
Cooking time
5 hours plus overnight marinating

The Yarra Valley occupies a special place in the hearts of Australian wine-lovers for its celebrated cool climate varieties and stunning natural beauty - the perfect backdrop for De Bortoli Yarra Valley's Locale Restaurant. Chef Ben Levene keeps thing simple with a rustic gnocchi dish, whose silken texture and subtle anise flavours pair superbly with the smooth, fruit-driven character of the De Bortoli Villages Pinot Noir.


1.2kg pork shoulder or whole pork scotch fillet, diced

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

6 cloves garlic, crushed

½ bunch thyme, leaves picked

2 teaspoons sea salt flakes

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 large brown onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 bulb fennel, diced

200ml flavoursome dry white wine

1 litre chicken stock



1kg desiree potatoes, unpeeled

1 egg, beaten lightly

15g butter, melted

2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan

Pinch of salt

300g plain flour


2 tablespoons grated parmesan
2 tablespoons parsley leaves, shredded

1.    Combine chilli flakes, fennel seeds, 3 cloves garlic, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add pork and marinate in the fridge overnight.

2.    Heat a large, heavy-based ovenproof casserole pot over high heat, add pork in batches and cook until lightly browned. Set aside.

3.    Reduce heat to medium, add vegetables and remaining garlic, cook vegetables for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add pork back to the pot. Increase heat to high, cook for 5 minutes to caramelise. Deglaze with wine. Add chicken stock, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for 4-4 ½ hours. Check consistency and season to taste.

4.    Meanwhile make gnocchi: Pre-heat oven to 150°C. Boil potatoes until just cooked. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes to dry out. When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and pass through a ricer or sieve into a bowl. Stir in egg, butter, parmesan and salt. Add enough flour to make a firm dough.

5.    Divide dough into portions, roll each portion on a floured surface into a long sausage and cut at 4cm intervals. 
Place gnocchi in a single layer on a lightly floured tray, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

6.    Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add gnocchi in batches, for 2 minutes or until gnocchi float to the surface and are cooked through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Melt butter and add gnocchi. Cook, turning for 3-4 minutes or until golden.

7.    Serve ragu on gnocchi, garnished with grated parmesan and finely sliced parsley.  

Note: Gnocchi does not have to be fried, but this gives a nice colour and extra flavour. You can simply add gnocchi to ragu, then garnish.


Wine Match

De Bortoli Villages Pinot Noir 2019

Preparation Time
30 mins
Cooking Time
5 hours plus overnight marinating
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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