Sunday, 31 October 2010

Gnocchi with pumpkin and pork mince ragu'

Happy halloween! Yes I know, this is not the best picture I could have choosen to show my face for the first time, but don't worry this is not my everyday look heeheh.You can also see pictured  the main ingredient of today's recipe: my 50 pence pumpkin from Tesco! We decided to celebrate halloween watching  some japanese horror movies with a nice bottle of red chianti and a very filling main course: gnocchi with pumpkin and pork ragu'. Here's the final dish:

you will need:

500 gr of gnocchi (I used ready made ones, but ideally home made gnocchi are perfect for this dish)
300 gr pumpkin (in this case I used what I scooped from the one we carved in the picture above)
350 gr pork mince
1 glass red wine
1 medium onion
1 small red chili
olive oil
pepper, salt to tase

First prepare the pumpkin in a bowl and finely chop the onion and carrot to prepare the base for the ragu.
Start by fring the onion and the carrot in a bit of olive oil in a pan, when golden add the mince meat and keep stirring. After some minutes, add the glass of red wine:

Now you can add the pumpkin:

keep stirring and add a cup of water to allow the pumpkin to cook properly, add pepper and salt. I also added some of my fresh chilies ( no seeds!)

In the meanwhile prepare the gnocchi by boiling them in a separate pan:  add some water in a pan, salt and when boiling add the gnocchi. Once they start raising to the surface it means they're ready and you can drain them:

ready! Drain the gnocchi, mix them with the ragu and add some grated cheese. Serve hot

Enjoy your halloween!  - Above: meet Cheeky, my british shorthair kitty quite curious about the pumpkin

Friday, 29 October 2010

courgettes and chees croquettes

I have been away for a while, so firstly I apologize for the lack of recipes over the last few weeks. Things should get better now and I will be back on the blog with more constance...I promise!
Today I have tried a dead easy (and cheap!) recipe inspired by an Italian friend that suggested the same one with feta. I don't have any feta cheese so I had to go with cheddar for this one, though I think parmesan would be an even better choice. took me about 15 minutes in total to prepare and cook these tasty croquettes so anyone should be able to do it (I guess! :))
Ingredients you will need for about 12 croquettes:

- 2 courgettes
- 2 eggs
- 1 medium onion
- 100 cheese (feta, parmesan, or cheddar - the one I used for my attempt)
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- chopped parsley
- 50 gr all purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- seeds oil for frying

Using a regular grater, grate the 2 courgettes, the cheese and the onion in a bowl. Add the 2 eggs, the parsley, the bread crumbs and mix well.

Form some small balls ( I try  to give them a flat shape, not too spherical so they cook better) and dust them with some all purpose flour. In the meantime, warm up the oil in a frying pan

 fry them for about 10/12 minutes turning them until crispy and golden on the outside:

yum! This smells so nice! 

If you are using feta cheese, I would suggest not to add any salt as this kind of cheese is already very salty.

Once these are ready, leave them on some kitchen paper for 5 minutes so that the extra oil is absorbed and serve hot with some dipping sauces, some garlic ciabatta and fresh green salad.

Buon appetito!