how to cook: potato and broccoli gnocchi in spicy tomato and garlic

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, pasta, gnocchi, food, homemade, italian

I know. Two pasta posts in three days. I was saving this piece for later, but I just found out that it’s World Pasta Day (say what now?) and it seems silly not to embrace it. So, this week in addition to the ravioli, I give you my easy-peasy gnocchi.

This was my first foray into making the delectable Italian potato dumplings. It did take a bit of research (once again for my leftover veg), but what I came up with seemed to work great – even if they’re not the prettiest to look at.

One final note before we get cooking – I didn’t realise until now that the recipe I’ve created is vegan. No, I’m not that way inclined, but it’s a fact that’s sure to please my meat-shunning mates.  Next I’ll have to tackle the caeliacs.

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Ingredients

For the gnocchi:
500g waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped
100g broccoli, chopped (stems and all)
220g all-purpose plain flour
Salt
Pepper

For the sauce:
Fresh tomatoes, chopped
A couple of cloves of garlic, diced
An onion or two, diced
Dried or a finely chopped fresh chili (to taste)
A handful of parsley, finely chopped
Salt
Pepper

Instructions 

For the gnocchi:

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, pasta, gnocchi, food, homemade, italian

Boil the potatoes until tender (about 15-20 mins), drain them off and mash them up like your life depends on it – no lumps, pretty please.

Boil the broccoli until it bends to your will (shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes – greens are so amiable) and give it a whizz with a hand or stand blender. Post carnage, spoon the mixture into a sieve to get rid of any extra water.

In a big bowl, mix the potato and broccoli together. They won’t mind, they’re old friends.

Stir in the flour, salt and pepper to form a nice looking, green-tinged dough.

Plonk the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes. All you have to do then is grab a handful, roll it into a sausage about 1cm in diameter and cut into pieces. I think they’re supposed to be about an inch long, but mine turned out all different and it didn’t seem to matter.

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, pasta, gnocchi, food, homemade, italian

Note: if you make more than you need, you can always keep the dough in the fridge and roll it out for a fresh lot when you want to eat more. It should keep for a few days.

For the sauce:

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, pasta, gnocchi, food, homemade, italian

Heat a frying pan with the olive oil and chuck in the garlic, onion and chili. Throw everything around with a wooden spoon until they turn into big softies. Add the tomatoes. When everything looks a little bit sloppy but smells terrific, turn off the hob, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Leave to one side in the pan and cook the gnocchi.

To cook the gnocchi:

Place the dumplings in a saucepan of salted boiling water. They will sink at first, but will rise as they cook. Once they’re floating near the top, they’re done. Drain, add to saucy frying pan and stir. Slide onto plate and serve.

i am not a celebrity, kate mcauley, pasta, gnocchi, food, homemade, italian

To be honest, it tasted far better than it looks above. I really must stop letting my grumbling tum get in the way of shooting a nice picture for you all. You live. You learn.

Print this recipe.

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© Kate McAuley 2012

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