Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A Trip to Italy - Gnocchi

 With the wet and gloomy weather the movies are a good outing. This movie A Trip to Italy was very enjoyable with lots of foodie references and lovely scenic views and sunny weather. I went off to the cinema, left the meat sauce slowly cooking in the oven and returned home to a warm kitchen with delightful aromas. 

This meat sauce has a large amount of mushroom added and is quite light but still very flavoursome. When I make this sauce I make a large quantity as it freezes well and can be defrosted and reheated in the time it takes to cook a pot of pasta. It is delicious with ricotta gnocchi. Ricotta gnocchi are very easy to make and worth the bit of extra work.


Meat Sauce for Pasta

Ingredients
500 g minced pork or beef
500 g mushrooms, chopped finely
2 onions, finely diced
2 -4 cloves garlic, crushed
A little oil

2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
1 cup white wine
1 large jar passata /tomato sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
Optional
chicken stock powder /cube/salt
1/2 - 1 tablespoon mushroom powder


Method
Put oil into pan, add onions, cook over low heat until the onions have softened a little and add the garlic and mince. Stir to break up the meat and continue cooking until mixture starts to brown.

Add the mushrooms, wine, bay leaves, passata sauce, sugar, pepper, chilli flakes and optional mushroom powder, stock powder /cube if using. Simmer over low heat or in the oven 130 degC until the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings.


This is the porcini/mushroom powder that I use. I purchase it from my local Fruit and veg store, however, there are many similar products available. You can make it yourself by grinding up dried mushrooms.








Better Still


Sometimes I add chopped broccoli or broccolini to the meat sauce, this both extends the sauce and increases the vegetable content and is, in my opinion, a much better version. Serve with lots of grated Provolone Piccante or Parmesan.











Ricotta Gnocchi

Ingredients
250 g ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
A pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup flour approximately, plus extra for forming the gnocchi
optional
1/4 cup parmesan, finely grated

Method
Put ricotta, egg yolk, nutmeg and parmesan if using in a bowl, mix well.

Mix in flour until you have a soft dough. You may need a little more or less flour

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to form a smooth ball of dough.

Roll into a sausage shape approximately 2.5 cm in diameter. Use a sharp knife to diagonally cut into 1 to 1.5 cm slices.

Put gnocchi into simmering water. When cooked, the gnocchi will float to the surface. If they seem stuck gently loosen. Remove cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon.

These can be frozen cooked or uncooked. I prefer to freeze them cooked. I place them on a baking paper on a tray in the freezer and then into a bag once they are frozen.

How to make the Gnocchi


Put ricotta, egg yolk, nutmeg and parmesan if using in a bowl, mix well.

Mix in flour until you have a soft dough.




Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to form a ball of dough.






Roll into a sausage shape approximately 2.5 cm in diameter.



Use a sharp knife to diagonally cut into 1 to 1.5 cm slices.







Put gnocchi into simmering water. When cooked, the gnocchi will float to the surface. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds very yummy, will have to cook this :)

    ReplyDelete

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