We’re a largely Vegetarian household (my OH is the Vegetarian and TheYoungLady doesn’t really like the taste of meat though does eat the odd fish finger or bit of scampi) but like everybody we tend to revert to the half dozen or so dishes that we know well.
However, with a creaking bookshelf of not-touched-nearly-enough cookery books aswell as the aquisition recently of the excellent Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg Everyday and The Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney. Both of these books are crammed with uncomplicated tasty recipes so we have made it our mission to try and do at least one new recipe a week. Naturally this sometimes takes a bit of planning, to ensure you have theright ingredients but we’re also trying to cut down on the Big shop once a week or so and buying what we need as and when, which means a few trips to the shop but has meant our shops are more focussed, less distracted by BOGOFs and other deals and is cheaper overall.
I love Sweet Potato and we tend to have this in curries or mashed so keeping mind our mission, i saw the recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi in The Meat Free Monday cookbook (page 15 ‘Spring’) and was surprised that it only had a few ingredients. Equally surprising was how easy it was to make and we all mucked in, with TheYoungLady loving the mashing and rolling out. We cheated a bit by just using Sacla Pesto but the recipe for the rocket pesto looks easy to do to. This is in the book as a Lunch recipe and we made it for lunch today. We have a quarter of the gnocchi dough left which we’re going to freeze. Easy peasy.
Recipe from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook, (my comments in italics)
625g Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
15g butter (we just used I can’t Believe it’s not…)
75g plain flour (and extra for handling and rolling dough)
freshly grated nutmeg (we just used ground nutmeg)
salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Pesto (as mentioned, we just had Sacla Pesto with it instead)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons pine nuts
100ml olive oil
Cook and drain the sweet potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and leave to cool.
Place all ingredients for the pesto in a food processor or pound with pestle and mortar to make a coarse paste.
Mash the potatoes in a bowl until smooth. Add the butter, flour, semolina, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix to a dough. Divide the dough into four pieces and shape each piece into a long roll about 2cm in diameter (you’ll need flour on your surface here and we certainly needed floury hands/bit more flour onto the dough to handle it as its quite a wet dough), Cut each roll across into equal-size rounds. Bring large saucepan of salted water to the boil (have to admit, i just re-used the earlier water). Drop the gnocchi into the water in batches (my batches were of 5 or 6) and cook for 3-5 minutes until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm while you cook the rest. Once all the gnocchi are cooked, stir in the pesto and serve. (we added a bit of cheese over the top and this would work really well with a salad on the side too.)
We three thought it a real success and not complicated to make, probably taking about an hour to make in total. It tasted great, was really filling, healthy and low in fat – one we’ll definately make again.