Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gnocchi gnocchi gnocchi, three ways

Gnocchi is one dinner that we're all happy with. It's possibly D's favourite dinner ever. It was always something we'd enjoyed but, appropriately, we became particularly enamoured with it whilst enjoying our "luna di miele" (honeymoon) on the Amalfi coast. The gnocchi of choice there was "Gnocchi alla Sorrentina." Gnocchi, thick tomato sauce, cheese, baked. Need any more be said?

Little E is also a fan of the potato pasta; my lazy dinner option for her is gnocchi from a packet, a cube or two of cheese sauce from the freezer, some frozen peas. It's quick and easy, vaguely nutritious; she gobbles it.

In the last month or so we've discovered two new gnocchi recipes that are going straight to the favourites file. The first is gnocchi with chorizo, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, which I made up/adapted after a few internet searches one night when we were having friends over for dinner. The second is gnocchi with green beans and tomato-butter sauce which I came across on this blog and which we had a few nights ago.

So that the world can experience the gloriousness of gnocchi, here are the recipes:

Gnocchi alla Sorrentina

~675gm gnocchi
1.5 cups tomato sauce (see below)
~350gm grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

To make the tomato sauce: 

(Makes about 2 cups) 

1 Tablespoon olive oil 
3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved 
~1.5kg fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons salt 
1 Teaspoon sugar (optional) 
4 basil leaves 

Over medium heat, heat the olive oil and gently sweat the garlic in a big saucepan, 3-4 minutes.  
Add the tomatoes, salt and sugar and increase the heat to medium-high.  
Bring the mixture to a boil and cook off the liquid for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn/stick.  
Place the tomatoes in a colander to drain, reserving the tomato liquid.  
Puree the tomato pulp.
Return the sauce to the pot, add the basil leaves, and cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes, until it reaches the desired consistency.  If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice to it.  
Remove the garlic and basil before using.

To assemble the gnocchi

Cook the gnocchi in boiling water; drain.
Mix the gnocchi with the sauce; it should only be lightly coated.
Put half the gnocchi in a casserole dish; top with half the tomato sauce and half the mozzarella.
Then put the other half of the gnocchi, topped with the other half of the sauce, on top.
Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the top layer.
Bake in a hot oven until the cheese is melted and golden (~10 minutes).

Gnocchi with chorizo, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes

1kg gnocchi
1 chorizo sausage
Half a punnet of cherry tomatoes
I can't remember what quantity of mushrooms I used - maybe half a paper bag full?
Some chopped fresh basil
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Slice the mushrooms and chorizo and halve the cherry tomatoes.Fry the chorizo and mushrooms in a little olive oil. You won't need very much oil because the chorizo releases quite a bit. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and the chorizo looks a bit brown/crisp.
As soon as you have put the chorizo/mushrooms in the pan, put the gnocchi into boiling water.
Add the tomatoes and the basil, and cook until the tomatoes are soft and have released a little juice, but still hold their form.
Scoop the gnocchi out as soon as they float to the surface. Mix the gnocchi in with the sauce. It's not a terribly saucey-sauce but there should be enough to lightly coat the gnocchi.
Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Gnocchi with green beans and tomato-butter sauce

To save me re-typing the recipe, you can get it from here.


Natasha said...

Yum Yum Yum, mu mother in laws makes beautiful Gnocchi. Natasha x

Silver Threads of Happiness said...

I have never tried gnocchi! I should give it a go sometime..

Thanks for stopping by and the advice on the apricot tree, very glad I can at least enjoy the blossoms :)

EmmaK said...

Oh gosh wow! My mouth is watering. I will definitely give these a whirl. Thanks for rewinding with me.

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