Coming to you live from summer, where meals like this should be de rigeur, but I’m bundled upstairs in warm clothes and slippers staring at the grey drizzle. Grr.
I coped zero per cent with winter last year so I’m beginning to have flashbacks and am looking online for woolen underwear already and summer’s not even over. But when Melbourne decides to be cold, well to hell with what season it is, Melbourne’s going to be cold.
I think I even got mildly depressed when spring finally arrived but warmer weather didn’t. I was driving around in the traffic and the grey and wondering why I’d ever moved to this city and what the hell had I been thinking? But it must have been SAD talking, because Melbourne is actually heaven on Earth. It probably had been too long between dumplings, that’s all.
I can usually be swayed with food.
I used to be worried about making gnocchi… pretty sure my first attempt at pumpkin gnocchi turned me off, as I’d ended up with a super sticky dough, which I of course added more flour to, even though I knew I shouldn’t. So of course we had little concrete lumps in lovely sauce for dinner and I gave it up until I could be bothered (and organised enough) to bake the potatoes for gnocchi instead of boiling them. That did work and was actually the bomb.
But ricotta gnocchi, if you happen to have ricotta on hand, is so quick and so good – you end up with lovely little light clouds of pasta that cook really well. As a bonus, both my kids ate this (minus the pesto), which if you know me very well is very much a win. I love the light, summery sauce that is made with gorgeous ripe red tomatoes (or you could use this roasted canned tomato sauce alternative, just as good if you ask me), and the contrast of the chunky nutty pesto with the smoothness of the rest of the dish.
You can also make a double batch (why not, you’re already there!) and freeze each element separately, leaving you with a whole meal you can put together in minutes another night. yay!
Just a quick one today as it’s almost time to take Smalls to kinder, and she’s beside herself at the thought. I was worried she might take a bit to warm to the place as it was all so new to her, but she happily told me I could pick her up later on her first day and waved me off with a grin. She’s found her feet there and absolutely loves it, which is awesome. And I get a couple of hours KID FREE to CONCENTRATE and NOT MAKE ANY SANDWICHES and LISTEN TO HOW QUIET THE HOUSE IS THIS IS SO WEIRD.
Also – can you gnocchi? do you find it difficult? What’s your favourite way of doing it? (are you a potato baker or a boiler?) link me up with a recipe!Print
Easy little cloud-like potato dumplings covered in a summery tomato sauce and fresh basil pesto.
- 1 bunch basil
- 3/4 cups parmesan style cheese, grated
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 8 Large ripe tomatoes, or 2 x 440g tins tomatoes
- 1 splash red wine
- 1 splash balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch cracked black pepper
- 300g ricotta
- 1 1/4 cup plain flour
- 1 cup parmesan style cheese, grated
- 1 Large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- Step 1To begin, get the sauce on first: quarter your whole tomatoes and put in a baking dish (or add tinned tomatoes), drizzle with wine, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and sugar.
- Back in a 180C (or 200C if you need them done faster) for about 20-30 minutes until soft and just beginning to caramelise at the edges.
- For the gnocchi, mix your ricotta, flour, cheese, egg, salt and pepper in a large bowl until it makes a dough.
- Separate into several pieces and roll them out into a 1-inch diameter log. with a sharp knife, cut through at 1cm intervals to make little discs.
- Spread out onto a floured surface until you are ready to cook them.
- For the pesto, put the basil, cheese, nuts, salt, garlic, and olive oil into a food processor and pulse until mixed but still chunky. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Feel free to add more olive oil if it is a bit dry. I like to keep it chunky to contrast with the soft ricotta gnocchi and the smooth sauce, but you make it how you like it.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and cook your gnocchi in batches for 2-3 minutes until they rise to the surface. Drain and keep warm.
- To make the sauce, tip the tomatoes and their juice into a blender and blend on high for 1 minute. Check for seasoning and adjust.
- Toss the cooked gnocchi in the sauce and serve with chunky pesto on top with a drizzle of olive oil. Have extra cracked black pepper and cheese on the table.
Keywords: easy gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi, weeknight dinners, easy pasta, quick gnocchi,