Gnocchi? What’s that? That’s what I often hear when I decide to make gnocchi. I discovered this dish when I went on holiday to Italy this summer and I decided to recreate it. It’s a wonderful Italian dish, with the gnocchi itself being a small potato that is similar to a dumpling. It’s like a pasta dish because the sauces are similar, but it makes a nice change from the endless amounts of pasta I eat at university. The best thing about this recipe is that it can be easily vegetarian by just taking the chorizo out, but it still remains incredibly tasty without the chorizo.
“The sauce can be frozen on the day or consumed within a few days.”
This will make enough for 2 portions of the sauce. The sauce can be frozen on the day or consumed within a few days. If the gnocchi comes in a large bag (usually the bags in Aldi are two portions worth) make sure to seal after using half to make sure that it doesn’t go off!
1 Red/yellow pepper
1 Small red onion
10 Cherry tomatoes
2 Large handfuls spinach
1 Mozzarella ball
½ Chorizo sausage (optional)
1 Teaspoon of olive oil
A small jar of red stir in Italian pasta sauce (if you don’t want to make a sauce from scratch).
Splash of balsamic vinegar
½ Teaspoon of basil
½ Teaspoon of oregano
½ Teaspoon of chili flakes
1 Frying pan
1 Chopping board
1 Sharp knife
1 Colander or sieve to drain the gnocchi.
- Boil the kettle ready to add to the gnocchi.
- Cut off the ends of the pepper and the onion. Peel the skin off the onion. Take the core out the pepper.
- Dice the remaining onion and pepper into small cubes. Add a teaspoon of oil to a frying pan and heat for 30 seconds before adding in the onion and pepper. Fry on a medium heat until they begin to soften.
- If adding chorizo, cut the sausage into smaller chunks. Once the onion and pepper are softer add the chorizo and fry gently for 2 minutes.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes into small quarters and add to the pan, frying for a minute to soften.
- Add either the jar of sauce or the passata to the pan. If using the passata add the balsamic vinegar, basil, chili flakes and oregano now. Simmer till the sauce beings to boil and then turn down the heat slightly.
- Add the spinach one handful at a time stirring until it becomes small and integrated to the sauce.
- Put the gnocchi in a separate saucepan and add the boiling water so it rises above the level of the gnocchi. Bring the water to the boil on a high heat and then turn off completely– the gnocchi is ready. (Yes, it really does only take a minute to cook).
- Finally chop the mozzarella ball into thumbnail sized chunks. Turn the sauce off the heat and add the mozzarella.
- Drain the gnocchi in a colander and put in your bowl. Add the sauce on top and enjoy!
Images courtesy of Miriam Thompson.