Bit of a challenge for this next blog - Flatmate Fantastico sent me on a cooking adventure last night, by way of an Eat, Drink, Talk voucher for Christmas.
The course was all about Gastro Pub food - interesting, tasty meals in my favourite way: you get good stuff to start with and don't muck around with it too much.
It also shouldn't take too long to prepare (between the five of us attending last night, four courses were made and consumed during two and a half hours). I was one happy, stuffed to the gills in a good way camper when I rolled out the door, it has to be said.
So, for tea tonight, hopefully in the next hour, I'm doing ricotta gnocchi with chorizo, red and yellow capsicum, tomato and onion sauce. The only thing I've done towards this so far is put the ricotta to drain. Otherwise it's all from scratch.
The ingredients are via the usual sort of grocery store one finds in the middle of London. Quality is fine, not fantastic, but the meal, which should serve six, will come in at the 10 pound mark.
for six good sized portions
750g ricotta, drained in sieve for half an hour
60g freshly grated romano (or parmesan if you prefer)
250g plain flour
2 medium eggs
salt to taste
Combine everything except the flour in a mixing bowl. Add about 2/3 of the flour to start with and work everything together with your hands. You want the lot to come together into a ball and not be too sticky to touch. Add more flour as needed to get this consistency.
When the ball has formed, divide into about 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball between your hands. You don't want it to be tacky, so work in more flour as needed. On a work surface lightly sprinkled with flour, roll into a long tube, about an inch in diameter. Chop into slices about half an inch think. Holding a fork tines pointing away from you and down, pick up a piece of the dough and place the cut side (should be the longest) across the back of the fork and roll it down, away from yourself, over the tines with a light pressure. See my novice gnocchi picture for a vague idea on what you're after. Place gnocchi onto sheets of baking paper as you go.
Once you've finished all your gnocchi, fill a large pan (I used a stock pot) with cold water, cover and gently bring to the boil. This gives the dough a chance to rest.
When boiling, gently tip gnocchi into the pan. They're done when they float to the top, about 5 minutes or so. These little pillows of tastiness are pretty soft, so use a slotted spoon to lift them into whatever sauce you've chosen.
CHORIZO, RED & YELLOW CAPSICUM SAUCE
2 semi dry chorizo, diced
1 small red onion, diced
half a red capsicum, quartered and finely sliced
half a yellow capsicum, quartered and finely sliced
tbs tomato paste
400g tin chopped tomatoes in juice
Place chorizo into a slightly warmed frying pan on a low heat. When the fat starts to cook out, turn up heat to medium, add onion and cook until softening. Add both lots of capsicum and stir in. Leave for a few minutes until starting to soften. Add tomato paste and stir to combine. Add tinned tomato, stir well and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Combine gnocchi and sauce, serve with a bit more grated romano and pepper.