Sunday, October 4, 2009
I recently discovered the wonder that is bbc-iplayer. It's nothing short of genius, really..it gives you all the perks of television without painfully pointless adverts and the added luxury of a download button so you can save your favourite shows. No I'm not getting paid to say this, but I should be. The best part about all this for me has to be the food shows-nigella, nigel slater, valentine warner..it's like christmas, only better;)
Most of the shows I've watched these past few weeks have featured gnocchi in one way or another and what it is is basically a dumpling made of mashed potatoes masquerading as pasta; Not something I've ever considered trying because I'm not a fan of potatoes. But watching all
those brilliant chefs sing praises about these pillowy soft little things made me curious and frankly any excuse to potter around in the kitchen is always welcome.
I thought I'd be adventurous and do a dual coloured version, so I bought some potatoes and gorgeously orange sweet potatoes. All for 79p from the local green grocers. Who knew?! I'm never buying fresh produce from Waitrose again. I used my Hamlyn cookbook this time and all it involves is boiling the tubers whole till tender, peeling and mashing it up, beating in some parmesan and salt and kneading in some flour. I found the dough incredibly sticky..nothing a bit of extra flour couldn't fix.
Pasta cooked, it was time for the pesto. 50g of basil, roughly chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, 50g toasted pine nuts, 60g grated parmesan, salt and pepper and lovely fragrant olive oil. I blended everything with my new favourite toy, my stick blender until it all came together to form a beautiful thick green paste. It was my first time making pesto and I have to say, the smell was incredible...a distinct herby freshness from the basil and a faint hit of garlic. Absolutely
Spoon the pesto over the cooked gnocchi and tuck in. Soft, almost melt in the mouth potato parcels, garlicky cheesy pesto..excellent company and hilarious conversation...I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Saturday evening:)
Afterthought: Sense of accomplishment aside, ready made gnocchi are going for about 1.99 from Waitrose...but do make your own pesto...it's delicious and it doesn't involve spending an hour getting dough out of your hair;p