Kopytka, meaning “little hooves”, are small Polish potato dumplings, similar to Italian gnocchi. They make a good alternative to pasta and since they are small and bite-sized, they make a great supper for kids. You can also make kopytka with leftover mashed potato. Adding a little Tenderstem to the dough gives the dumplings a colourful twist and added texture.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
You will need:
500g mashed potatoes, cooled
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg, beaten
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
A small knob of butter
2 shallots, peeled, chopped
200g Polish ham or bacon, such as Sopocka or Wiejska, or use pancetta.
What to do:
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the Tenderstem. Boil for 5 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon (keep the water, turn off the heat) and drain under running cold water. Chop 5 of the pieces of Tenderstem very finely. Put to one side to add to the dumplings.
Put the mashed potato into a large bowl. Add the finely chopped Tenderstem, the flour, egg and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Using a metal spoon at first, bring the mixture together. Then tip it out onto a board and knead it until all the flour is incorporated into the potato.
Sprinkle a little extra flour onto the board and cut the dough into quarters. Roll each piece into a long cylinder and cut at an angle into 2cm pieces. Repeat until you have used up all the dough.
Bring the salted water back to the boil and in 3-4 batches. Drop in the dumplings and gently boil for 3-4 minutes. They will rise to the top once cooked. Take them out with a slotted spoon, drain and cook the rest.
Once the dumplings are cooked, add one tablespoon olive oil and the butter to a large frying pan. Gently fry the shallots and the chopped ham. Add the rest of the pre-cooked Tenderstem and add the dumplings to the pan to colour them slightly. Cook for a further 2 minutes and serve immediately.