Gnocchi (v)

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I have never made gnocchi from scratch before, only ever purchased those pre-made packages from the supermarket. I’d wrongly assumed that they would take forever and be messy and not worth the effort. How wrong I was. These took a few minutes to make, and cooked just like shop bought ones in a few mins in a pan of boiling water. The texture was lovely – really light and fluffy, not dense, heavy and disappointing like every other gnocchi I’ve eaten has been. Recipes online say use an egg, but I subbed that for 4 tbsp soya milk.

For 4-5 portions you need

  • 400g mashed potato (mine was a mix of potato and swede)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsp soya milk or 1 egg if you eat them
  • salt and pepper
  • extra flour for dusting or some semolina/polenta
  1. Mix all the ingredients together to form a dough. Don’t over knead.
  2. Break into 4 tennis ball sized portions and roll each out into long sausages on a floured work surface.
  3. Cut into equal sized pieces and push the back of a fork lightly in to each piece (to help the sauce cling apparently). Dust with polenta to prevent them from sticking.
  4. I left mine to chill for 45 mins in the fridge because they took less time that I thought they would! They should be fine to cook straight away however.
  5. Bring a pan of water to the boil and then add the gnocchi one piece at a time to prevent them from sticking together. Allow to simmer and once they start to float to the surface, remove and scoff. We had ours with a quick and easy to make rich tomato and vegetable olive sauce. Really delicious!

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Raspberry Brioche Pudding

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Another use up the leftovers I’d forgotten about recipe. The brioche was lurking in the dark depths of the bread bin, the jam was one of many opened over Christmas and the cream was a remnant from a pavlova. Together they made a harmonious cloud of sweet deliciousness, the perfect Sunday night pudding. You can adapt this to whatever you fancy or need to use up. Chocolate chip brioche rolls would work nicely, with cocoa powder in the custard to make a chocolate version. Or add some dried fruit. Or use up your panettone. Or whatever!

For 4-6 portions you need:

  • 8 slices of brioche
  • Raspberry jam
  • 250ml double cream
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  1. Make jam sandwiches with the jam and brioche. Don’t butter the brioche as it’s already enriched and will go too greasy.
  2. Place the brioche sandwiches in an ovenproof dish.
  3. Mix together the cream, milk, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla. Pour over the brioche and leave to stand for 15 mins.
  4. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top and then bake in a bain marie for 30-45 mins at 170 degrees. The pudding should be crispy on top and puffed up. The custard should just set.

Butterbean Burgers with Sunflower Seeds and Carrots (v)

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I love good, old fashioned bearded home knitted yogurt veggie fayre. This falls firmly into that camp. Hearty, disgustingly good for you and versatile. We served these hot as full burgers with all the trimmings including sweet potato fries and home made skinny french fries. They were also yummy cold the next day with salad, drenched in hot Thai chilli sauce.

For 6-8 burgers you need

  • 1 tin butterbeans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion
  • 100g fresh breadcrumbs (about 3-4 slices bread)
  • 2 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and garam masala
  • Trimmings of your choice depending on how you want to serve them e.g. burger buns, relishes, salad, chilli sauce etc
  1. In a food processor make the breadcrumbs. Tip into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Blitz the onion and beans together until mushy (20-30 secs). Tip into the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  3. Swap the blade for a grater attachment and grate the carrots. Yep, tip into the mixing bowl…
  4. Add everything else and squidge together with your hands.
  5. Form into 6-8 patties depending on appetite and greed. Place on to a lined baking sheet and bake in a 180 degree oven for 20 mins, turning halfway through the cooking time. Enjoy 🙂