Sunday, August 17, 2014

Homemade Gnocchi with Roasted Pumpkin and Garlic Cream Sauce

The rain was endless yesterday so I decided to make a recluse of myself and spend the afternoon inside with Billie Holiday, wine, a huge bath and a night of making gnocchi. All that is missing from this picture is at least 10 cats, and then I would be a spinster Paddington woman. (I did have a friend come for dinner; it wasn’t a completely lonely affair)

Continuing on my path of destruction with my weekend affair with carbs, I’ve made a homemade gnocchi, with a roasted garlic and pumpkin cream sauce, finished with blue vein and pine nuts.

Serves 2

700g gnocchi (recipe here)
300g pumpkin
1 garlic bulb
¾ cup thickened cream
½ small onion, chopped
Cayenne pepper
Pine nuts, to garnish
Blue vein cheese, to garnish
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

For gnocchi, follow recipe in link above. Allow 1 hour to bake potatoes and 1 hour preparation and cooking.

For cream sauce, skin pumpkin and coat in olive oil, a dash of cinnamon, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Bake pumpkin with whole garlic for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, or until well roasted.

In a pan, heat olive oil and add diced onions. Cook until opaque. Add cream, pumpkin and garlic. With a hand held blender, pulse cream sauce until a smooth consistency.

To serve, combine gnocchi and cream sauce, topping with blue vein and pine nuts.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

Grilled Eggplant and Chilli Lemon Pasta, topped with Gorgonzola, Cranberries and Hazelnuts

First of all, apologies for being completely negligent of my food. The last few months have been a time of so much change - the closing of chapters and opening of beautiful French doors into a world of new highs and lows. Ha.

When life gives you lemons, to hell with the lemonade, you put on a spread with those lemons so lavished even the lemons’ eyes will water with bitter sweetness.

I’m in my new home this weekend alone and completely impoverished, so I decided to spend the last of my pay check on an amazing dinner, for one.

This recipe echoes the breath of an antipasto plate in your mouth, with all the benefits (and happiness) of pasta. Starting with a simple olive oil, lemon, chilli and garlic pasta, I add grilled eggplant and Gorgonzola cheese with the sweetness of dried cranberries and the crunch of toasted hazelnuts.

Serves 2
250g pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ lemon, juiced
3 Lebanese eggplants
70g Gorgonzola cheese
50g dried cranberries
100g hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice eggplants, length ways and cover in salt to sweat bitterness out. Set aside.

Bring water, salt and olive oil to the boil. Add pasta and cook until al-dente. In a hot pan, toast hazelnuts lightly and crush. Set aside.

Wipe off moisture from eggplants, salt and pepper and char in hot pan with olive oil until well browned on both sides.  Add crushed garlic and remove pan from heat. Allow garlic to heat and infuse.

Drain pasta, add to pan with lemon juice, olive oil and chilli. Combine with eggplant and top with Gorgonzola cheese, cranberries and hazelnuts.