I had the pasta craving on Sunday and after a long morning run in anticipation of Knsyna, I figured I deserved it. Gnocchi was the call from The Princess and inspired by my recent trip to Genot (http://jamiewhatshisname.blogspot.com/search/label/Winelands) where we had an unusual sweet-potato version, I gave it a try. I found some reduced-fat bacon at Woolies and made a tomato sauce. Was it any good Jamie, was it any good? HA HA HA HA! Oh, you were being serious. Yeah, it was good.
Stuff you'll need to feed 4:
- About 750g of sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
- 1 free range egg, beaten
- About 2o0g of flour, plus extra for dusting
- Half a teaspoon of nutmeg
- One or two chillies, sliced diagonally
- A pack of reduced-fat bacon, cubed
- Two packs of cherry tomatoes
- Two handfuls of basil
- A handful of pine nuts
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Some parmesan, grated with a vegetable peeler
Okay, what to do for the gnocchi:
1. Make sure the sweet-potatoes are well mashed and while they are still warm add the flour, egg and nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper add knead to make a warm, soft dough. If you need to add some more flour or water you can. Cover with a tea towel for 5 minutes.
2. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out the dough to form a long, thin sausage. *Lifts fist to mouth and muffles laughter.
3. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 1cm pieces. Take a fork and squash each piece to form a disc with ridges on one side. Place them a floured baking tray.
4. Bring a pot of salted, boiling water to the boil and cook the gnocchi pieces in batches. What's pretty cool is that the gnocchi tells you when it's ready. It rises to the surface. When this happens, fish them out and put aside.
For the sauce:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season generously. Roast for 20 minutes. When done, scrape the tomatoes, the oil and all the juices into a pan.
2. Add the garlic, chilli and bacon and fry until crispy. Turn heat way down and simmer for about 20 minutes.
3. Slowly add the gnocchi and gently fold through until it is nicely covered. Rip up some basil and stir through. Garnish with extra basil, some pine nuts and fresh parmesan.
This is a bloody fantastic dish. The basic gnocchi can be served with any sauce so get a bit creative and try some different combos.