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Pork and Fennel Gnocchi with mixed Mushroom Ragu

This recipe comes to us from the kitchen of Chris Lillico, head chef at Fondata 1872 and regular participant at the Neff Market Kitchen Cooking School.

Ingredients (gnocchi)

  • olive oil for cooking
  • 3 good quality pork and fennel sausages from a butcher
  • 1 teaspoon ground toasted fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch of chilli flakes

Take the sausages out of the casings and place into a large bowl.

Add the ground fennel and chilli flakes. Mix into the sausage mixture well and set aside.

Potato gnocchi

  • 600g semi-cooked whole potato
  • 150g flour
  • 75g Parmesan cheese
  • 20g salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk



Preheat oven to 220°C

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil. Prick the potatoes and bake in preheated oven on a bed of rock salt for 40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.

Slice the potatoes in half and pass through a ricer or sieve. Mix the Parmesan cheese, salt and egg and yolk with the potatoes. Once combined, mix in a little flour until the mixture just comes together.

Blanch the gnocchi in medium boiling water. When the gnocchi has risen to top of the boiling water, place into ice water. When the gnocchi has fully cooled, strain off and coat with a little olive oil.

Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Break sausage mixture into small pieces. Add to pan and fry until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Pan fry the gnocchi until golden brown. Finish with sausage pieces and Mushroom Ragu.

Ingredients (ragu)

Mushroom Ragu

  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly bashed
  • 3 large King brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 100g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced across into 1 cm slices
  • 100g oyster mushrooms, roughly torn
  • 30g butter
  • 2 teaspoons picked thyme leaves
  • 80ml white wine
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Place a wide-based pan over a medium heat, give it a few minutes to warm and then add a healthy splash of olive oil, closely followed by the garlic. Give the garlic a good stir; you want it to start to turn a nice golden brown. Just before it begins to get too dark, add your King and Swiss brown mushrooms, stir and raise the heat.

Allow these two mushrooms a little time in the pan to give them a chance to brown, only stirring often enough so that your garlic doesn’t burn.

After a couple of minutes, add in the oyster mushrooms, stir them through and then add the butter and thyme. Make sure you stop here for a moment to give them a little seasoning. I’d add a small amount of salt here, but I do tend to go quite heavy with the black pepper.

Keep stirring, you want the butter to melt and start to brown and you want to be able to smell the thyme.

At this stage, add the white wine and let it reduce by half before adding in the stock. Once the stock has been added, all you need to do now is give it a few more turns and cook for another few minutes.

Have another taste for seasoning; if you think that it needs a little more butter, please do add it as that’s what I usually do.

Once you’re satisfied with your mushrooms, set aside for the gnocchi.



Note: This recipe was demonstrated in Chris’s class “Buon Appetito: Modern Italian”, July 2017.

Both the recipe and photo are reproduced with permission from Chris Lillico.

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