Genoveffa Iodice

La Marchesella
Via Marchesella 184, Giugliano

Gena Iodice’s deep-rooted, instinctive passion for cooking was inherited from her grandmother Luisa, who in 1948 opened the first trattoria in the town of Giugliano in Campania, where it served as a hub of hospitality and comfort for those who had survived the difficult war years. Currently Gena runs the restaurant together with her husband Tommaso and her sons Antonio and Francesco. Her cooking is defined by Neapolitan tradition but with an innovative twist, while always remaining faithful to the restaurant’s philosophy.

Potato gnocchetti with lobster, dente di morto beans and saffron-scented piennolo del vesuvio tomatoes

Serves: 6
500 g potato gnocchetti
300 g lobster flesh (2 whole lobsters split in half)
250 g dente di morto beans, boiled (Slow Food Presidium)
8 piennolo del Vesuvio cherry tomatoes, cut in half (Ark of Taste)
2 garlic cloves
saffron pistils
1 dl extra virgin olive oil
½ glass Falanghina dei Campi Flegrei white wine
fresh basil leaves
fresh flat-leafed parsley, minced

For the gnocchetti
350 g potatoes, boiled
150 g soft wheat flour
½ egg
pinch of salt
flour for kneading

To make gnocchetti, boil potatoes, drain, peel and, while still hot, pass through a ricer. Leave to cool without mashing.  Weight out 350 g of boiled potatoes and add 150 g of flour, half an egg, and a pinch of salt. Mix by hand or in a food processor until smooth. Cut into small pieces, work by hand on a rough surface and shape into strips with a diameter of about 1 cm. cut into cylindrical shapes about 2 cm long and ridge slightly by pressing against the worktop with the fingertips, with the prongs of a fork or with the appropriate implement.  Scatter over a lightly floured tray. 

To cook the gnocchetti, heat a large pan of water and., when close to the boil, add salt and plunge in gnocchetti. When they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon.

To cook the lobster, crush garlic and add to large, high-sided skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Lightly fry, then discard. Add lobsters (cut in half, carapaces downwards) and lightly fry. Pour over white wine and allow to evaporate. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes, adding a ladleful of hot water. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Scoop lobster flesh from claws and abdomen being careful to keep it intact.

To finish the dish, warm a large skillet, add sauce and lobster flesh with dente di morto beans. Add potato gnocchetti, tossing to amalgamate ingredients. Add saffron pistils and basil leaves, and continue tossing (adding more pistils if necessary to achieve the shade of yellow desired). If the contents of the skillet start to go too dry, add a little of the gnocchetti cooking water and boil for 3 minutes. To assemble the dish, put gnocchetti with lobster, beans and tomatoes at the center with the upturned lobster shells around them. Serve piping hot with a sprinkling of minced parsley.