Tuesday, 26 October 2010

An Italian Sunday Lunch

It’s kinda surprising that I have not posted more recipes here, as I feel I am a better cook than I am a reviewer of restaurants. If that is what I am doing. Who knows.
But I am definitely a better cook than I am a photographer. As you can see from some of my fotos on these pages.
So in a way to put matters right, I am intending to put a few more recipes on this blog. Starting with last Sunday’s lunch that we had. I had intended to cook this on Saturday night, but a cinema outing laid waste to any thoughts of cooking late at night.
So I decided to cook on a more casual basis on Sunday afternoon. We had two courses, Gnocchi in a Tomato Sauce, and Fennel Sausages and Lentils. I was in an Italian mood.

So for the Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce, just to make a note here I brought the gnocchi from Camisa and Sons in Soho. I don’t see the point sometimes of making things, when other people make then fresh for you at such low prices that it isn’t worth it.

100 – 150g Gnocchi per person
1 Tin of Italian plum tomato’s
1 Garlic clove, crushed with a back of knife and salt
4 Shallots
A few good glugs of good olive oil
Parmesan Cheese

  1. Pop pot on low flame. Layer the bottom of the pan with the olive oil. Let it gently warm up.
  2. Add the diced shallots, stir around and turn down to lowest possible flam and cover.
  3. You will have to stir once in a while, but the lid on will help sweat the shallots. Once they are soft enough to squish between your fingers, add the garlic.
  4. Stir for a minute or two until you can smell the garlic.
  5. Add the tomato’s and a pinch of sugar. Stir. Bring to a simmer and lower heat and cover.
  6. After about an hour or less, you will have a good thick tomato sauce perfect for some gnocchi. Season to taste and set aside.
  7. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add salt. When on a rolling boil, add gnocchi, cover until returns to a rolling boil.
  8. As you do this heat another small pan with a glug of olive oil in it. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the tomato sauce to heat.
  9. Drain the gnocchi and add to the tomato sauce. Increase heat to evaporate any excess liquid. Swirl or flip the pan constantly as you do not want this to stick.
  10. Pour into bowls, grate over fresh Parmesan cheese. Eat and enjoy.

For the second course, a classic dish of sausages and lentils.

Olive oil to coat the pan
1 onion finely diced
A garlic clove, skinned and smashed with the side of a knife
100ml Wine
50ml water
2 Italian sausages each
100g Lentils per person

  1. To cook the lentils. Warm a large pan and add some olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the diced onion. Cover, lower heat and leave to sweat, Stir once in a while.
  2. Once the onion is soft, add the lentils. Raise the heat a little and stir the lentils until you think they are beginning to stick to the bottom of the pan. Cover with water. Simmer till cooked.
  3. When the lentils are nearly ready, put a frying pan on the heat. Add more olive oil and the garlic clove.
  4. Cook for a minute or two then add the fennel sausages. Brown on all sides. Add the wine and let it bubble up for a few minutes. Add the water. Cover and cook on a gentle heat for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. With a fork, mash up the garlic. Season.
  6. Put the lentils in a warm dish, add the sausages then pour over the garlicky winey sauce. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley y voila. Enjoy.
We absolutely love this dish, and it is a perfect main course for anytime of the year, but works wonders on the soul on a cold autumn day. Enjoy.

1 comment:

catty said...

I adore gnocchi and although I also haven't bothered making any at home, my friend (also called Dave) once made me some sweet potato gnocchi. OMG HEAVEN!