Rebecca Borg, Head Chef at MUŻA Restaurant. Rebecca creates carefully curated dishes which are inspired by her passion for art and hand-crafted cuisine. Her main aim is to develop menus inspired by the pleasures of taste. Rebecca’s specialities feature fresh, home grown and seasonal produce dishes.
Extract taken from June's 2022 Il-Bizzilla Magazine | Read more here
Ġbejna (plural ġbejniet) are traditional cheeselets produced from sheep's or goat's milk using rennet to set the curds. In Malta, Ġbejna is used for filling ravioli, and the traditional baked pastry delight, pastizzi. This month, Chef Rebecca makes the most of its creamy texture in this delightful gnocchi plate. So, go ahead and give it a try!
GOATS’ CHEESE GNOCCHI
with crispy artichokes, pea purée, fresh herbs and tomatoes
For the Gnocchi
1kg fresh Maltese cheeselets (drained)
100g aged cheeselets (grated)
2 egg yolks
For the Pea Purée
1 whole onions
4 cloves garlic
1 sprig of thyme
300ml vegetable stock
For the Crispy Artichokes
1 globe artichoke
100g corn flour
For the Sauce
500ml vegetable stock
2 minced garlic
100g cherry tomatoes
cut in half
Method For the Gnocchi
In a food processor mix the cheeselets, eggs and salt together. Then slowly fold in the semolina until you have a dough consistency. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once set, hand roll 15g of the dough to form the gnocchi.
Method For the Pea Purée
Sautée the onions and garlic with a sprig of thyme in butter. Once sautéed, in the same pan add the vegetable stock and blanch the peas for 3 minutes. Blitz the peas together with the onions and garlic, adding the liquid in small additions as needed. Blend until you have a fairly thick smooth purée. Then pass the purée through a fine sieve to have a silky-smooth finish. Season with salt and taste.
Method For the Crispy Artichokes
Boil the artichokes in salted boiling water for 1 hour. Once cooked, cool down and remove the outer layers. Keeping the artichoke heart, toss the artichoke heart in corn flour. Fry at a temperature of 180ºC until golden brown and crispy.
Method For the Sauce
Fry the minced garlic in butter and add the vegetable stock. Once it starts to boil, add the gnocchi and cook for around 3 to 4 minutes until soft. Finish off with cherry tomatoes, chives and seasoning for a creamy and flavourful dish.