Italian cooking is about coming together as a family to celebrate life, food and wine,” says artist Maria Patrizi (mariapatriziart.co.za), whose crowd-pleasing menu reflects her Pugliese heritage



  • 1kg potatoes, unpeeled
  • salt
  • 300g cake flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 large egg
  • 45ml olive oil

For the Gorgonzola and Walnut sauce:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 500ml fresh cream
  • 200g Gorgonzola cheese
  • 100g grated Emmentaler cheese
  • 200g shelled walnuts

To serve:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • extra shelled walnuts


1. To make the gnocchi: place the potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Once cooked, drain the potatoes and allow to cool slightly.
2. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel them discarding the skins. Place the potatoes in a bowl and mash until smooth. Add the flour, egg and oil and mix well to form a dough.
3. On a floured work surface, roll the dough into cylinders about 1cm thick. Cut into pieces about 2cm long; using the palm of your hands carefully roll the back of a fork over each piece to create ridges. Refrigerate the gnocchi until you’re ready to cook it.
4. To make the Gorgonzola and walnut sauce: melt the butter in a pan. Add the garlic and a pinch of pepper and fry for 2–3 minutes.
5. Remove the garlic clove, add the cream and bring to the boil.
6. Lower the heat, but keep the sauce simmering. Gradually add the Gorgonzola and Emmentaler cheese. Once the cheese is melted, stir in the walnuts and season to taste.
7. To cook the gnocchi: bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi in small handfuls so as not to squash them; they’re ready when they float to the surface of the water.
8. Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the gnocchi from the pot and toss with the warm Gorgonzola and walnut sauce. Dish into bowls and serve topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese and extra walnuts.

This recipe serves 6.