Gnocchi Greatness!

I can’t speak highly enough about these little morsels of heaven. Fluffy, decadent, and the easiest pasta to cook in the world, gnocchi has been in my life for as long as I can remember!

I was craving it recently, and decided to mix and match some cuisines with this dish. Instead of boiling it like I always do, I pan fried it this time in luscious olive oil, and added my favourite spanish sauce, a zingy romesco (my favourite version I posted here). I had some leftover kale so added that in and it was pure gold. You can make the sauce in advance on this one, and any leftovers can be used either for another pasta dish or as a sauce in its own right to drizzle over veg or as a dip! It is truly that versatile.

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Serves: 2-4

Ingredients: Romesco Sauce

  • 100g blanched almonds
  • 50g hazelnuts/shelled pistachios
  • olive oil
  • 2 slices good stale white bread (about 40g) torn into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 x 220g jar of roasted red peppers, drained
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 small dried chilli, crumbled or a pinch of chilli flakes
  • a generous pinch of saffron strands
  • 1 Tbsp tomato purée
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Ingredients: Pan fried Gnocchi

  • favourite brand of store bought gnocchi 500g
  • oil to fry (I did a combo of a vegan margarine and extra virgin olive oil)

Ingredients: Kale

  • 350g kale, washed and hard stems removed, then roughly chopped to incorporate
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water, adding 1/3 cup at a time as needed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • oil
  • red pepper flakes
  • lemon juice (from 1-2 small lemons)
  • salt & pepper

Sides: Your favourite flatbread & salad

Method

  1. Make your sauce first! This CAN be done in advance to save you time on the day. But it doesn’t take that long.Scatter the nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden. While they are roasting, heat a little olive oil in a pan & fry the bread until golden brown all over. Add the garlic & the smoked paprika & cook for a further minute then remove from the heat.
  2. Leaving the oven on, transfer the nuts & toasted bread to a food processor. Add the peppers & blitz until you have a coarse paste – you still want a bit of texture.
  3. Tip the entire lot into a mixing bowl, stir in the extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, crumbled chilli/dried chilli flakes, saffron, & tomato purée. Season to taste with salt & pepper and mix well, adjusting the flavours if need be. Romesco is all about a balance of punchy flavours. Too thick? Add a little water.Too sweet? Add a bit more vinegar. Too sharp? Add a little oil. Leave this to one side to mix & mingle & mellow.
  4. Sort out the kale! Take a large frying pan or saucepan out, cover the bottom with a splash of oil and heat up. Throw the onions in to cook down and sweat it out. After a couple of minutes add in the garlic and cook together for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly and to make sure nothing browns. Add in the kale and incorporate. Add a splash or two of water to kick up the steaming process. Season with salt & pepper and slowly add the rest of the water and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add the lemon juice, take off the heat & set aside.
  5. Get a frying pan out, get the oil/butter in (guesstimate the amount, you want just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and to splash around the gnocchis to cook evenly). Crank the heat up and throw in your gnocchis! Move them around constantly to make sure they cook properly, and do this for 5-7 minutes. Once crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, place on a piece of paper towel to soak up excess oil.
  6. Plate it all up & serve with your favourite sides and a glass of vino!
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