Polenta & Chicory

I’ve had a few chicory recipes that I’ve been wanting to try but I’d never been able to source the chicory. I started a subscription to Oddbox which delivers vegetables to your door that were otherwise unwanted and one week there was an add on for chicory. I fancied trying this recipe from Antonio Carluccio’s ‘The Collection’.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 chicories
  • 1 stock cube
  • 400g polenta (block)
  • salt and pepper

Method

1.) Peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic, chilli flakes and capers for 3 minutes.

2.) Add the chicory, 300ml water and the stock cube.

3.) Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes.

4.) In the meantime, slice up the polenta and then in a frying pan, heat the rest of the oil and add the slices of polenta. Fry the slices until golden brown then flip over and do the other side.

5.) Serve the chicory with slices of the polenta.

Green Gnocchi

It’s been a long time since I posted. I’ve been feeling a bit down and one of the big contributing factors is my job. I have a manager who is a complete control freak and likes to tell me the best way to do everything i.e. her way. Apparently it’s frustrating being challenged over 30p by the auditors but it’s equally valid to spend 40 minutes discussing a 30p ledger difference with me. Originally I took it to heart but now I’ve started to see the idiocy in it and have decided to find another job as soon as possible. With that and updating my CV and looking for jobs I haven’t really got round to blogging so it’s been a while since I made this gnocchi.

The first time I made gnocchi, I tried to make a butternut squash version which was a complete disaster as the squash was so wet I just couldn’t form the gnocchi. I went with a safer option this time – from ‘Carluccio – The Collection’, adding some spinach to the gnocchi, it’s easy enough to squeeze out the moisture. I decided to split the raw gnocchi in two and have some the following day but the gnocchi don’t keep very well in the fridge overnight so I recommend cooking the whole lot in one go or freezing.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g floury potatoes (e.g. Maris Piper or King Edwards if you’re UK based)
  • salt and pepper
  • 110g plain flour (plus extra to dust)
  • 200g spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 40g parmesan
  • 150g mozzarella
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • 500g passata
  • basil

Method

1.) Peel the potatoes and quarter them. Boil some water and add to a a large saucepan. Add the potatoes and cook with a pinch of salt until soft.

2.) In the meantime, cook the spinach in a frying pan until wilted then set aside to cool.

3.) Once the potatoes are soft, drain and push them through a potato ricer into a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, some salt and pepper and break in the egg.

4.) When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out the water over the sink. The more you can get out, the better. Chop up the spinach and add to the bowl with the potato.

5.) Mix everything until it comes together. Dust a work surface with flour and take half the mixture. Roll it out into a log on the surface.

6.) Do the same with the other half of the mixture. Cut the logs up into 2.5cm pieces. Press the top of each piece with a fork to leave an imprint.

7.) Now, start to make the tomato sauce. In the frying pan, heat some oil and cook the garlic for a couple of minutes, add the passata and rip in some of the basil. Reserve some leaves as a garnish. Cook this on a low heat for 20 minutes.

8.) Grate the parmesan and chop up the mozzarella and set aside.

9.) After 15 minutes of the sauce cooking, start to cook the gnocchi. Boil some water and add to a large frying pan. Add the gnocchi and cook for a few minutes until the gnocchi rises to the surface. Scoop out the gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce.

10.) Cook in the sauce for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle over the mozzarella. Serve the gnocchi with a garnish of parmesan and basil.