‘Alsatian’ gnocci

I call this post ‘Alsatian’ as I adapted a recipe from Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen switching out the pasta for gnocchi and making it veggie so I’m not sure how Alsatian it is anymore. In saying that I think you could Anglify it by serving with mash and it would be equally as good. Probably a wise thing to do with the grain prices too. I was reading the Economist (I have to do 40 units (hours) CPD for my accountancy qualification each year and I thought an issue of the Economist would be a cheap way to earn some of these) and I learnt that South-East Asia are some of the only countries not affected by the ‘global’ inflation partly due to the fact that they eat more rice than wheat products. Anyway I went for gnocchi because I had some at my company conference lunch but it was cold so I fancied some cooked gnocchi – we arrived late due to our coach breaking down before it even arrived to pick us up. We then got a replacement coach which was actually more like a school bus for primary (elementary?) aged kids.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pack gnocchi
  • 500g vegetarian meatballs
  • 10g parsley
  • 500ml beef flavoured stock
  • 30g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 4 rashers vegetarian bacon
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 175ml red wine
  • thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp cornichons
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 30g parmesan

Method

1.) Peel and finely dice the onion and the carrot. Finely chop up the celery. Chop up the veggie bacon.

2.) Heat some oil in a casserole dish then add the meatballs. Fry on all sides until brown and then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.

3.) Add some more oil to the pan and add the carrot, the onions and the celery. Fry for about 7 minutes until everything is soft. Add the bacon and cook for another couple of minutes. In the meantime, chop up the parsley, strip the leaves from the thyme and crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Set the carrot, celery and onion aside with the meatballs.

4.) Melt the butter in the casserole dish then add the flour. Cook the paste down for a couple of minutes. Then gradually add the stock and whisk after each addition. Add the tomato paste and the wine and whisk to dissolve everything.

5.) Add the peppercorns, thyme and half the parsley to the pan, along with the veg, bacon and meatballs. Simmer for 15 minutes.

6.) Whilst this is cooking, grate the parmesan and finely dice the cornichons. Cook the gnocchi according to the packet.

7.) Add the capers, cornichons and rest of the parsley to the pan and stir. Serve with the gnocchi and garnish with some parmesan.

Gnocchi Puttanesca

I love the idea of gnocchi but I always feel like it’s cheating to not make my own even though I’ll happily use pre-made pasta. I got over my reservations to put this quick to prep meal together on my language class night. At 8.30pm I can’t be bothered with anything too labour intensive. Using spinach gnocchi allowed me also to get some greens in there. Puttanesca is my favourite pasta recipe (maybe excluding Spaghetti Vongole) and when I saw the recipe on BBC Good Food, it was an instant winner. I did add a tin of tuna to it which I think was a bit too much but my husband liked it so I’ll leave it to your discretion.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 500g gnocchi of your choice
  • 500g passata (I went for passata with veggies)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 60g kalamata olives
  • 1 tin anchovies
  • 1 tin tuna
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 250g mozzarella
  • olive oil

Method

1.) Peel the onion and finely chop

2.) Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the onion. Fry on a low heat for 5 minutes or so until starting to soften.

3.) In the meantime, chop up the olives then add to the pan with the anchovies and the capers and and fry for a couple of minutes until the anchovies breakdown.

4.) Drain the tinned tuna and add to the pan, stir for a couple of minutes.

5.) Add in the passata and the gnocchi and cook for about 5 minutes. Chop up the mozzarella.

6.) Pour the mixture into a oven-proof casserole dish then dot the mozzarella over the top.

7.) Cook under a grill for 5 minutes or so, until the mozzarella is melted and golden brown.