When I started blogging, I had imagined that I would post about some of my adventures in the kitchen, and the recipes resulting from these adventures. So far I have not...not for any reason than I have not got round to it yet.
So here it is, my first recipe post. I had wanted to make gnocchi for quite a while. And last week, I tied on my Cath Kidston pinny, got out the potatoes, and went right ahead. Rather a yummy dinner as a consequence...although I did cheat slightly and use shop bought arrabiata sauce. Most exciting of all is that when you cook the gnocchi, you can tell they are done as they start to float in the water! This recipe makes enough for two, and creates little in the way of washing up.
250g potatoes (I used maris piper)
half a bunch of basil (how big was the bunch? The smallest one Tesco does!)
100g plain flour (I like to use Marriages as they are local, but really any would do)
1 small tub arrabiata sauce, or make your own if you are feeling adventurous!
1 small ball mozarella
First peel and boil your potatoes until they are soft. Then mash them well- they need to be really smooth. I have one of those stick blenders that came with my beloved Mulitquick set which does a good job. Don't add any milk or butter here. Then, tear the basil into small pieces and stir in. A touch of salt and a grinding of black pepper would not go amiss here I think.
Now add the flour, starting off with a wooden spoon, then knead to get a stiff dough. Cut into pieces about the size of you thumb nail joint, and roll them into a little ball shape. This is quite theraputic, perhaps because of the repetiveness, or perhaps because it reminds me of playing with play dough!
Have ready a large saucepan of boiling water, and drop in the gnochhi, about ten at a time. They sink at first, and then float joyously to the surface when done. Remove with a slotted spoon once they are floating, then lightly drain on kitchen paper. It is a matter of minutes before they start to float, to give you an idea of timing.
When they are all cooked, stir them into the sauce, and divide the saucy gnocchi between two oven proof dishes. Top with slices of the mozarella (or at least the slices that you have resisted nibbling on while the gnocchi was cooking if you are like me!) then bake for around 20 minutes at 175oC or thereabouts.
When I try a new dish, I always ask Carl if it is a 'make it again' dish. This one passed- although I rather think he would prefer to do the rolling of the gnocchi rather than the washing up of the mashed potato pan this time!