Friday, August 17, 2007
Hay hay it's a very pink Donna Day
One of my favourite colours at the moment is bright fushia pink! I don't know why, perhaps it’s due to the lack of a full blown summer which I somehow associate it with, but it just cheers me up. And cheering up is what I needed a lot of lately. With a paper needing revision and two fellowship deadlines within one week I was at the end of my tether. So I was in need of some comfort, especially in my dinners! Normally, when I get stressed, I actually like to cook something more elaborate as it relaxes me somehow but I didn’t even have time for that. So this recipe comes from one of my favourite books at the moment and it was the perfect dinner solution. Not so time consuming but still resulting in a great sense of achievement and as I made loads of them, I was sorted for several meals. By coincidence gnocchi were also the theme for HHDD #14 hosted by Cafe Lynnylu. This is an event I always wanted to take part in but kept missing the deadline so I am really pleased I finally made it.
The gnocchi tasted great, I had some trouble getting the dough to come together as I added too much beetroot (2 pureed small ones) and so needed a lot more flour than the recipe stated. I guess next time I would leave out the egg. I finally gave up and the dough was still pretty sticky when I made the gnocchi but I didn’t want to add more flour as the recipe warned they would become too stiff. That’s why the shape is a bit funky but the texture was perfect, light and fluffy with an earthy hint of beetroot. They were so much better then anything store bought! We ate them with mushrooms fried with onion, garlic and parsley topped with parmesan which complemented the earthy flavor very well. I also had them for lunch with Baerlauch pesto, roasted aubergine or just with some goats cheese melted on top. It definitely was a quiet and comforting point in my days to sit down with a bowl of these little pink beauties. The picture unfortunately doesn't do them justice as my camera decided it doesn't like to be turned on anymore so I'm relying on Barry's phone's camera.
Now everything is submitted and after some glasses of Cremant D'Alsace to celebrate I can put the gnocchi recipe away....but not for too long as I will make these much more, even for non-stressful days.
Basic gnocchi recipe
1 kg potatoes
200 g flour
2 tsp salt
Peel the potatoes and cut into small chunks to steam (this is meant to make the end result lighter). When soft, mash them to a fine paste and stir in egg, flour and salt into the potatoes (this is where I added the beetroot, I would suggest adding less and perhaps leaving out the egg). Work everything to a soft dough, on a floured surface roll out into a long sausage and cut off little pieces (impossible with my dough). If you feel like it you can decorate these with a fork, then pop them into a pan of boiling salted water until they float up, you'll need to do this in batches. Enjoy with your topping/sauce of choice.