Gnocchi are both warming and welcoming, and homemade gnocchi are a world away from the vacuum-packed little chaps that are rather hard in comparison. This recipe is like an Italian version of bangers and mash; when we’ve already had that in the week, but require further indulgence. Serves two, but be prepared for the post-supper haze…

The Dumplings

1 pound of potatoes

1 cup of plain flour

Pinch of salt

Boil then mash the potatoes. Wait until cool enough to handle. Add the flour and salt and knead around a bit (it’s a soft, pliable dough). On a floored surface roll into a sausage, cut to desired size (they swell a bit once cooked). Boil some water, drop them in, once they rise (after a minute of two) to the surface, retrieve them. Add them to whatever sauce you’ve been making…

The sauce! We’re often really rather greedy and serve them with the following (and in order of adding to the pan): sausage chopped into bite-sized pieces, thinly sliced red onion, garlic, red pepper, tinned tomatoes, red wine (as much as you’re willing to spare from the bottle), cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chopped rosemary and salt and pepper. End with a good dollop of crème fraiche, and serve with a generous sprinkling of parmesan. Then eat really quickly and lie back and wait… It’s not pretty, but by Jove it’s satisfying.