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Cooking With the Stars: How to make Denise van Outen's mouth-watering gnocchi dish

Find the delicious recipe here!

denise van outen
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
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We've been loving ITV1's brand new culinary competition show, Cooking With the Stars, which aired its last episode on Tuesday night.

MORE: Inside Cooking With the Stars' Denise Van Outen's love life

For the finale, TV and stage star Denise van Outen, mentored by Italian chef and restaurateur Francesco Mazzei, cooked up a storm in the kitchen (quite literally!) as she took on a langoustine and asparagus gnocchi.

The delicious dish got our mouths watering - and left us inspired! Find the recipe, courtesy of Cooking With the Star's official partner Marks and Spencer, below…

WATCH: At home With Denise Van Outen

Langoustine and asparagus gnocchi

Serves 4


For the gnocchi:

  • 350g red potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • One egg yolk
  • 100g 00 flour

For the langoustine sauce:

  • 12-15 langoustines
  • 50ml oil
  • 50g onion, chopped
  • Two star anise
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 100g leeks, chopped
  • Three sprigs tarragon
  • 50ml brandy
  • One tbsp tomato paste

For the rocket pesto:

  • 500g rocket
  • 25g pine nuts
  • 80g grated Grana Padano cheese
  • One garlic clove
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

To serve:

  • 30g butter
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 500g asparagus
  • One lemon, zested
  • Eight small sprigs of dill
  • 12 basil leaves
denise van outen pasta© Photo: ITV

Will you be trying the recipe?

MORE: Denise van Outen's daily diet: What the West End star eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner


Step one

Boil the potatoes, mash and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, mix in the egg yolk and flour until combined.

Step two

Shape the gnocchi into a sausage shape on a floured work surface. Cut into 2cm pieces and shape. Blanch the gnocchi in salted water until floating. Allow to cool in iced water.

Step three

To make the sauce, remove the tails from the langoustines. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion, leeks, star anise, fennel, tarragon and langoustine shells. Pour in the brandy and allow to evaporate. Once the brandy has evaporated, add the tomato paste and enough water to cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, blitz and then pass through a fine sieve back into the pan. Keep warm.

Step four

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch half the rocket for around 30 seconds and add to a bowl of iced water immediately. Drain and transfer into a blender. Add the rest of the rocket and the other pesto ingredients, blitz until well combined but not too smooth. Season to taste. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Peel and halve the tomatoes. Dust with icing sugar and caramelise with a blow torch or under a hot grill.

Step five

To prepare the asparagus, cut the tips into 3-4cm pieces and finely slice the stems. Blanch the stems in boiling water.

Step six

Heat the butter in a pan and fry the langoustines for 1 minute each side. Remove and set aside.

Step seven

Add the sliced asparagus and gnocchi to the pan of sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add olive oil.

Step eight

Plate the gnocchi and top with the asparagus, tomatoes and langoustines. Finish with lemon zest, dill, basil, white pepper and pesto.

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