Saturday, 3 September 2011

Pan-fried Gnocchi with Balsamic Sun-dried Tomatoes

The first time that I ever had gnocchi was in Nice, France, where I tried it with a creamy scallop sauce. It was from that moment on that I knew I would be eating a lot more of the stuff. I fell in love with the soft and slightly chewy texture of the gnocchi- a cross between pasta and a soft potato. Gnocchi is actually made from flour, eggs and mashed potato and then shaped into the authentic oval dumplings and then boiled like pasta. The process to make gnocchi would take quite a bit of time and effort so I resort to buying it in the supermarkets instead; you can get fresh gnocchi in the fridge section or a vacuum packed dryer version in the pasta section. 

I tried pan-fried gnocchi at a restaurant called 'Fellicinni' and the dish was beautifully done; with the gnocchi being accompanied by goat's cheese, cherry tomatoes, olives and salad leaves. I had a craving for weeks to have pan-fried gnocchi again after leaving the restaurant. Consequently I was inspired to make my own version with what I had in the fridge; sun-dried tomatoes. My version definitely left me satisfied and the feeling of wanting more so I guess I will have to make it again. It is something that is so very easy to make and tastes fabulous and looks quite impressive at a dinner party; there is even potential to add more glamour to the dish by simply adding things like cheese (feta or goat's cheese) and green leaves.

Serves: 2
Time: 15 mins

A packet of ready made gnocchi
4 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
around 8 sun-dried tomatoes chopped (I used the ones in oil)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch sugar
Salt to taste
Olive oil
Pan of boiling water

1. Boil the gnocchi reading the instructions on the packet- it should only take around 2 minutes once placed in boiling water. Drain the gnocchi.
2. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and fry till golden, then add the sun-dried tomatoes and fry some more.
3. Add the gnocchi to the pan and fry with the tomatoes and garlic till a lightly browned. 
4. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and fry till the gnocchi are a bit more browned- don't burn them.
5. Add the salt and sugar to taste.
6. Always serve gnocchi warm and never cold as the texture is at its softest when warm.

1. Serve on a bed of rocket and goats cheese or feta.
2. Add herbs such as basil to garnish
3. Make a balsamic dressing by reducing the balsamic vinegar down to a thick sauce to dress the gnocchi.

A post form Fullest of Life

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