I’m a divil for anything with ‘made easy’ or similar suggestions in the title. Most recently I’ve been taping Lorraine’s Fast, Fresh and Easy Food. (taping, ha! I’ll have to explain why we use that word to my kids instead of ‘data capturing’ or somesuch) Anyway, it means I can fast forward through meaty cooking.
I find Lorraine’s efforts really are speedily recreated, as opposed to one particularly pukka chef’s half hour meals that would give you coronary failure in the attempt to beat the clock. So, quick cheesy gnocchi – what’s not to love?
Now I’m a big fan of homemade-in-restaurants gnocchi. And I’ve done spud based ones myself before, but I’m not sure the time, effort and mess was worth it. The vacuum packed supermarket ones are a bit meh. So when I saw this recipe on tv, I watched, rewound and watched again. And then the husband saw it and wanted to watch it again too. Lorraine is very esay on the eye!
The original recipe calls for homemade pesto, but I really like Aldi’s fresh pesto and we nearly always have a tub in the fridge. However if you’ve the ingredients to hand you’d whizz up a batch in no time.
On the show she uses fresh thyme to flavour the gnocchi, but I used her suggested substitution of dried oregano and added some fresh sage myself too. (Basil, sage, mint, chives and rosemary are the five herbs I seem to be able to keep alive and I’d welcome any veggie recipe suggestions for those thanks)
I recalled too late that sage is used to treat oversupply of breastmilk. So I probably shouldn’t have used it as along with cooking for a toddler, I’m feeding a seven week old too. Proceed with caution baby led weaners!!
The eagle eyed amongst you will spot just one egg in my photo – I halved this recipe just to try it out. That made exactly 48 wee dumplings, enough to feed Dada Bear, Mama Bear and Toddler Bear. It should probably feed 3 adults, but we went a bit crazy. Actually, Dominic really did. I handed him one to taste while the second batch were cooking and he had a full on tantrum because I wouldn’t give him anymore until dinnertime. A Pingu-shaped distraction eventually allowed me plate up.
This is a really good BLW recipe I reckon, but not right from the start as they’re a bit salty from the cheese. They’re firm but not crunchy from frying and the inside is almost melt in the mouth. The firmness would allow little hands to hold quite easily. You could make them a less authentic shape for easier holding too – slightly more tubey than pillowy. I would experiment with lower levels of parmesan too and leave out the sea salt I seasoned with.
The next person I’m trying them on is far from a baby – my mum. We’re off on our holidays in a couple of weeks and she’s coming along. I’m damned if I’m going to spend my holidays tied to the kitchen so quick n’ easy is where it’s at!