Gnocchi is one thing I always have in my cupboards. Oh, I know you can easily make your own, but I am of the opinion that if you have a packet of ready made gnocchi in the cupboard, you are never much more than a half an hour or so from putting a tasty meal onto the table.
It lends itself beautifully to all sorts . . . especially if you treat it a bit like a potato from time to time. I have done sauteed Gnocchi with Egg (pretty much like egg and chips, only better with the addition of sage and garlic!) Gnocchi Mac and Cheese with Purple Sprouting Broccoli (beautifully sauced!)
Gnocchi Breakfast Scramble (a fabulous morning delight with eggs, cheese, bacon and chives!) Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (think Chicken and Dumplings!) and then there is my personal favourite . . . Hashed Gnocchi (Corned Beef Hash, except with plump little gnocchi!)
So, you can see how very versatile a package of Gnocchi can be! If you can do it with a potato (or a pasta for that matter) you can do it with a Gnocchi! I wanted to showcase some special cheeses today (infused with ginger and rosemary) , so I created a creamy gratin and added some chopped broccoli. It was fabulously delish . . . but then again, you knew it would be!
*Creamy Gnocchi Gratin*Serves 4 to 6
A delicious gratin, with a lucious chese sauce and broccoli for goodness. I like to push the boundaries of what gnocchi is generally used for. To me they are just delightful little dumplings begging to be enhanced in delicious ways!
1/2 of a bunch of broccoli, trimmed and chopped235ml of double cream (1 cup)
3 TBS finely grated Parmesan cheese3 TBS fine dried bread crumbs
salt and black pepper to taste
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions, half a dozen or so at a time. Once they float to the surface, scoop out with a slotted spoon and place into the gratin dish, repeating until all the gnocchi have cooked. Add the broccoli to the water and cook until it is crispy tender. Drain well and scatter it amongst the gnocchi.
As you know, Divo Italiano recently sent me a delicious assortment of exciting new Italian Cheeses to try out. These are thorougly modern cheeses selected by Aldo Zilli specifically for the British Table. In this I used their Cubed Gorgonzola P.D.O.Picante.
Gold award winner at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards 2013, a P.D.O. Italian blue cheese without any rind which means nothing goes to waste. Packaged in a convenient pre-cubed format, it is the first to market in this format for Gorgonzola cheese. It is matured for up to 90 days in natural caves in Northern Italy to give it a sharp, spicy (‘piccante’ in Italian) flavour and creamy texture. It makes a delicious match with ripe pears and walnuts tossed into rocket leaves, melted on pizza, or used to make an indulgent cooking sauce.
This cheese was fabulous and was a great addition to my sauce. Mmmm . . . I am getting spoilt here! You can find the DVO range of cheeses in Morrisons and Ocado.