Sunday, March 9

Gnocchi with Red Kale, Taleggio, Chilli, Pine Nuts & Basil

Another idea for a midweek supper. It looks great on the plate and makes for really interesting eating as there are so many harmonious things going on. It is quite quick to pull together as you can cheat a bit and use ready made items. Is my home made gnocchi and tomato sauce better than that bought from the supermarket……well, yes. But this is a mid week supper and who wants to be making gnocchi after a hard day in the office when you are 'Hank Marvin' (rhyming slang for starving for the hard of Cockney). 

The Pizza Express tomato sauce is pretty good and (unsurprisingly) makes for a good and speedy pizza sauce. It only costs a quid so in reality it would be hard to make your own for less. Supermarket gnocchi is 'passable' but once jazzed up with all the other ingredients it all turns out fine. For four:

1x 400g tin of Pizza Express Tomato Sauce
1 packet of ready made fresh gnocchi
100g pinenuts
250g talleggio cheese, cut into small chunks
2 large head of purple kale, leaves separated from stems
1 bunch of basil
2 mild red chillies, deseeded and shredded
Extra virgin olive oil
50g butter
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Get a large pan of salted boiling water on the stove and bring back to a rolling boil. Warm up the tomato sauce in a small pan. And in a large frying or sauté pan, melt the butter and olive oil together over a medium heat.

Blanch the kale in the boiling water for a few minutes until soft - you don't want the kale undercooked as it makes for tough eating in the finished dish. While the kale is blanching, fry the garlic and chilli in the oil and butter until it starts to go golden. Using a slotted spoon remove the kale from the water and toss into the butter and garlic mix - you want to keep the boiling water as the gnocchi goes in next.

While the gnocchi is cooking, stir the butter, garlic and chilli through the kale and season well. Toss in the talleggio, half the basil and half the pine nuts - stir through. When the gnocchi rises to the top of the water, it is cooked. Drain and toss into the kale mixture.

Smear a ladle full of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of four warmed pasta bowls or plates and top with the kale and gnocchi. Sprinkle over the remainder of the pine nuts and torn basil, drizzle with olive oil and serve.  A few shavings of parmesan would be great, but I forgot to buy any!!

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