Pan-fried Gnocchi with Watercress Pesto and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I love gnocchi, but only if they are pan-fried. I found boiled ones to be a bit heavy and sloppy. When I discovered pan-fried gnocchi (thanks to Nigella!), it was a game changer and since then I don’t do it any other way.

If I remember it right, I saw this recipe on one of the Sainsbury’s recipe cards, which you can pick up from the store. The recipe is so easy and adaptable, you can easily adjust it to your taste.

PAN-FRIED GNOCCHI WITH WATERCRESS PESTO & ROASTED TOMATOES

Ingredients:

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

75ml olive oil, plus extra for frying

3 tbsp walnuts/pine nuts, toasted

1 x 110g bag watercress

1 x 500g pack fresh gnocchi

100g fine green beans, halved

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the halved tomatoes on the oiled roasting tray and roast until they are ready and caramelised on the edges.
  2. While the tomatoes are roasting, make the pesto by putting the garlic, olive oil, walnuts and the watercress in a food processor, blitz to combine. Check for seasoning.
  3. Heat a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil, add the gnocchi and toss gently over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until lightly golden.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until just tender, drain.
  5. To assemble, add the pesto to the gnocchi and toss together. Gently stir in the beans and tomatoes. Serve as a side dish or as a main with some salad.
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Oven Roasted Aubergines & Courgettes with spiced Chickpeas

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I was inspired by Spanish tapas we had recently. This is very simple dish and it doesn’t take long to cook. You can have it as tapas or serve it alongside a grilled/roast meat, or have it as a main dish (like we did). There are various way to finish it: drizzle it with a bit of honey and chilli, with a dollop of natural yogurt, lemon zest  and chopped mint or we opted for soured cream and harissa paste.

ROASTED AUBERGINES & COURGETTES WITH SPICED CHICKPEAS

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

1 big aubergine

2 medium courgettes

1 tin/400g  chickpeas

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon clear honey

Salt & pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

To serve:

few dollops yogurt or soured cream

2 teaspoons harissa paste

chopped spring onion or parsley

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Cut the aubergines and courgettes into roughly chunks. Put into a large roasting dish, trickle over the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Toss well and roast for about 30-40 minutes or until ready.

2. Meanwhile, on a large dry pan, toast all the spices/seeds until heated through and start to ‘jump’ on a pan, then crush them all, using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder and mix together with the garlic, paprika, tomato paste and honey, returning back to the pan at the end. Warm gently for 1-2 minutes and add the chickpeas in it, continue simmering all together until everything is warmed through, adjust the seasoning.

3. When aubergines and courgettes are ready, assemble them on a plate with the chickpeas, spooning over yogurt or soured cream mixed with harissa paste. Sprinkle with spring onion or parsley, whatever you prefer.

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Chicken Livers with Grapes

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For some people even the thought of eating liver sounds horrible, because first of a lll people think of anatomy  (we know what the liver’s job is). However, liver contains more nutrients that any other  food. Here are just some facts about liver and reasons why we need to consider to eat more liver. Personally, I always was fond of any dish that has liver in it, but recently I found my absolute favourite. Here it is:

CHICKEN LIVERS WITH GRAPES

Ingredients:

400g chicken livers (rinsed and trimmed)

1 onion

about 200g seedless grapes (any colour)

few branches of fresh rosemary (chopped)

3 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoon olive oil

salt, pepper to season

Method:

1. On a large frying pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add sliced onion with salt, pepper, rosemary and cook until softened and golden brown, transfer to the plate and leave aside.

2. Pat dry the liver, season with salt and pepper and cook it on the same frying pan with remaining of butter and olive oil, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook.

3. Add the grapes and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Return the onion back to the pan, check for seasoning and serve immediately.

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