Sunday, 15 January 2012

Fried Gnocchi with Pancetta, Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere I’m not actually a fan of shop-bought gnocchi, I find them too dense and claggy.. frying them though does somehow seem to magically transform the clagginess into something toothsome and more-ish.

I originally stumbled across this recipe on Liberty London Girl’s blog. The first time I made it was for a Saturday lunch, suffering from a bit of a hangover (after a delicious meal and Aperol Spritzs at the newly opened Antico and then a drink or three at Village East) and it was indeed, as she’d suggested herself, perfect hangover fare.

I was in need of a tasty but quick dinner this week so decided to cook it again, this time pimping it up a bit with the addition of some diced pancetta and baby spinach. It was, if I may be so bold, even more delicious (not to mention even more calorific).

Fried Gnocchi with Pancetta, Spinach, Mozzarella and Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 1

50g pancetta
200g shop-bought, ready-made gnocchi
cherry tomatoes (about 12)
½ ball mozzarella, torn into small pieces
small handful basil leaves, torn
couple small handfuls baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
olive oil
1 tbsp double cream
¼ tsp dijon mustard
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Boil a large pan of salted water, add the gnocchi and cook according to packet instructions (2-3 minutes usually).

Meanwhile in a largeish non-stick frying pan sauté the pancetta with a little olive oil and a small knob of butter over a medium heat.

When the gnocchi is done, drain well and tip into the frying pan with the pancetta - be careful it will probably sputter a bit.

After a minute or so add the halved tomatoes and continue to fry until the gnocchi have started to brown and crisp up a little then throw in the mozzarella, spinach and basil.

Give it an initial stir but the try not to stir too much or the cheese will clump together. Keep frying, giving the occasional shake until the gnocchi are looking nice and crispy then stir in a tablespoon or so of cream, the mustard, a little sea salt and a good grind of black pepper.

Cook for another couple of minutes then serve and greedily scoff.

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