To justify the arrival of Donna Hay magazine, and all the others that lie in piles around our home, I decided to actually cook from it this week. It was suprisingly easy to find four recipes that could feed us and the baby and survive the double sitting system we have going on here. The baby eats at 5.30pm and we eat at 7.30pm after he’s gone to bed, which means if we are to eat the same things either we have a warmed up version of his meal, or he has our left overs from the night before. This recipe was a winner – I cooked off some gnocchi for the baby at 5.30 then put the unrolled remains in the fridge until we were ready to eat at 7.30pm – and they were even more delicious than the first batch.
I remember making gnocchi with mashed potatoes and flour once a long time ago and being disappointed with the pasty, gluggy results. These little numbers however, were just delicious. Light, flavoursome, and with some blitzed tomato sauce over the top they were just heaven for baby and for us.
500g fresh ricotta
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain flour, sifted
Finely grated rind of a lemon
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
250g steamed, chopped spinach – squeeze as much water out as you can before choppiing
1 cup semolina (for rolling)
2 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
leaves off a large sprig of basil
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, flour, lemon rind, mint leaves and spinach in a bowl and mix to combine. If you have time, cover the mix and put it in the fridge for the flavours to combine.
Turn the mixture out onto a surface sprinkled with semolina and roll into 4 x 30 cm long ropes. Cut your rope into 2cm lengths and cook them in batches in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the surface. You’ll know they’re ready when they suddenly start bobbing to the top all at once.
Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm while you cook the rest.
The tomato sauce is a great trick I saw on TV and is one of the yummiest pasta sauces ever. Just blitz the tomotoes, garlic, basil and salt and pepper in your blender (or use a stick blender into a jug), then strain out the pips and skin over a small pot. Warm it gently (don’t boil it or you loose the fresh flavour) then pour over your gnocchi. It’s also fabulous with plain spaghetti.
More parmesan on top to serve.