Growing up in a multi-cultural area as an anglo kid, you’re exposed to a mecca of different cultures, people, and of course food. “The hood” as my friends and I affectionately call it, isn’t like your predominantly Italian Leichhardt, or Asian influenced Cabramatta, it’s like a melting pot, and it was great to be a part of.
I think the area I grew up in definitely influences my vast love for all different types of food. Although I would say Japanese is my favourite (developed later in life), I could literally eat any type of food and be pretty chuffed with it.
With quite a few friends from European backgrounds, Italian is probably my go-to food when we’re at home. I’m familiar with the flavours and can whip something up after work without having to think too hard about it.
Then there’s gnocchi…..
It’s been on my “to-make” list (similar to the “to-go-to” or “to-eat” list, you know the ones) for as long as I can remember. It’s something that I knew would be hard to make, but I wanted to give it a go anyway. What is life without challenges, no?
I gave myself plenty of time for prep (all day in fact) on a nice relaxing Sunday when we had nothing to do, nowhere to go. Just me, my new “gnocchi kit” and some potatoes!
Ok so there was actually more than just potatoes. When I do something, I like to do it a little fancy so after much Googling, I found a couple of Gourmet Traveller recipes that looked right up my street! Taking a little from column A and a little from column B, I came up with this
Gnocchi isn’t actually as hard as I thought. It could have been a little more pillowy (yeah, it’s a word), but it was pretty tasty with a great mushroomy flavour. The vegetable are a great balance and I actually used jarred artichoke hearts which added an acidity from the pickling.
Note to self, check we have peas at home and don’t just assume (as Stud loves peas). This will have you picking out peas from a Birds Eye Mixed Vegetables pack. Not only is it time consuming, it makes your fingers go numb.
So back to the competition! Thanks to the wonderful peeps at Kitchenware Direct, I’m giving one lucky reader the chance to win this Gnocchi Pack containing a Raco Baking Tray, Pyrex Mixing Bowl, Savannah Potato Rice (which by the way, is top tray dishwasher safe and came up perfectly clean again – I get excited when things get so clean and I don’t have to do it, don’t judge me) and a Thermohauser Dough Scraper. Everything you need to make the perfecto gnocchi that Nonna would be proud of!
To be in the running for this awesome pack, all you need to do is leave a comment below explaining what your variation of gnocchi would be. It’s really that simple!
There’s a few Ts & Cs:
Competition is open to Australian residents only.
Can only enter once and must not be a friend or family member of Dining with a Stud (sorry guys!).
Must enter with a valid email address (this will not be published)
Competition closes 8:00pm (AEST) 22nd August, 2012.
Winner will be judged at random and announced on Dining with a Stud’s blog, Facebook Page and Twitter Page. Maybe even Instagram
200g frozen peas
2 bunches of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 pieces
175g jar artichoke hearts
50gm almonds, roughly chopped
150g baby spinach, washed and dried
2tbs lemon juice
400g Desiree potatoes
30g dried porcini, soaked in boiling water
125g plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
For drizzling: olive oil
Preheat oven to 160° and spread baking tray with salt.
Place potatoes on top and roast until tender and can be pierced easily with a cake tester.
While potatoes are still hot, cut in half and scoop out flesh, placing flesh in to potato ricer and passing through in to a large bowl.
Drain mushrooms well on paper towel, squeezing excess water and chop finely.
Add mushrooms, flour and egg to potato and bring together to form a dough. Turn out on to a floured surface and divide in to four equal pieces.
Roll each piece until the “rope” is just under an inch thick. Using dough scraper, cut each rope in to 1.5cm pieces.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook gnocchi in batches until they float the surface. Once removed, set them aside in a bowl and drizzle with Olive Oil to ensure they don’t stick.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and add asparagus and peas, cooking until just tender. Remove and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add lemon juice and gnocchi, frying gnocchi until lightly golden. Add asparagus, peas and artichoke hearts until warmed through, then adding spinach and almonds. Cook until spinach is wilted, season if necessary and serve immediately.