... Homemade gnocchi, double the spinach, and a creamy cheese sauce. What's not to like? ...
Thus far, I've cooked egg dishes and breads with Nigel. This month I plan to explore some of his potato dishes. It seems to fit, as Springtime always brings us the first warm days when a 'skip forward to the first summertime potato salad' tempts us. BUT... Spring also brings us cold, raw, rainy weather when a hearty soup or a hot potato casserole fits the dinner bill. Then, there are always breakfasts when hash and eggs hit the spot. Which ever tack I take, I'm sure to find some good tater dishes in Nigel's archives and in his kitchen books.
In fact, I browsed the Guardian and found a kicker of a gnocchi bake that has me all excited, so I made gnocchi this afternoon and while it is setting up in the freezer, I have scouted the spinach and cheeses in the fridge. Tonight, it's warm and gooey gnocchi with spinach and blue cheese and mascarpone (as our little backwater doesn't have a clue about dolcelatte). I am thinking that roasted cherry tomatoes would be stellar tucked into this dish also, but darn! We ate them last evening with a roasted chicken with pesto aioli sauce.
Oh well, next time, right ?
Now, I've had a neat surprise. This week the I Heart Cooking Club vote came in on who to concentrate on for the next six months and you guessed it, Nigel has won the hearts of the folks in the club! That means I will be double dipping on occasion when it comes to posting Nigel's recipes. This week, I'll be sharing this post on the IHCC Nigel Slater Intro post, as we have the choice of any of Nigel's recipes. Next week, though, I will no doubt be branching out to another theme. So exciting!
Once again, I invite any and all to get in on the Nigel Slater love ... post a Slater potato recipe and let me know you've done it and I'll link up at the end of the month. AND/OR, join the I Heart Cooking Club and cook along with us as we explore weekly themes using Nigel's recipes! The more the merrier!
Now, here's that recipe for gnocchi and the fixin's ! I made my own gnocchi using Russet potatoes, egg yolks, a bit of flour, Kosher salt and dried chives, but you could just as well buy some from the deli case and keep your life much simpler! However you do it ... enjoy !!! I will say ... we devoured this casserole. It was loaded with spinach (which we love), had a nice hint of blue cheese(which SB just tolerates), and had fluffy light gnocchi that floated nicely in the creamy, cheesy, bubbling sauce. We had the gnocchi with green beans and slivered almonds, which served well for mopping up the cheese sauce left on the plate ... dinner was tasty tonight!
Nigel Slater’s Gnocchi and Spinach and Dolcelatte
amounts slightly adapted and overall recipe reduced to two servings
250 g. potato gnocchi
200 g. fresh spinach leaves
1 tsp. butter
30 g. blue cheese
50 g. mascarpone cheese
150 ml heavy cream
Kosher salt and black pepper
Sprinklings of paprika and nutmeg
Making the Dish:
- Butter a small round casserole and set it aside.
- Drizzle just a bit of olive oil in a deep fry pan and bring the heat up under it.
- While the pan heats, rinse clean picked over fresh spinach leaves and spin the moisture out of them.
- Pop the spinach into the hot pan and toss the leaves until they begin to wilt, cover the pan, reduce the heat and let the pan sit for a couple minutes.
- When the spinach has wilted but is still bright green, lift it from the pan and let it drain in a colander.
- Rinse the pan out and fill it with fresh water. Add a bit of salt and bring it to a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Cook the gnocchi for 3-4 minutes over gently boiling water. Lift from the water when it floats and settle it into the casserole pan, layering the spinach in and around it.
- Break the blue cheese into small chunks and layer that in as well. Place dollops of the mascarpone cheese around and over top the casserole.
- Mix pepper and Kosher salt with the heavy cream and drizzle over top. Wiggle the casserole to help the cream settle down around the gnocchi and spinach.
- Pop the casserole in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then sprinkle some paprika and nutmeg atop the casserole and continue baking for another ten minutes.
- Turn the broiler on and brown the surface, watching carefully.
- Serve piping hot with a side vegetable or a cool salad.
Note: This recipe calls for 100 g. of dolcelatte cheese. Note that I have substituted blue cheese and mascarpone AND have reduced the cheese measure a bit. Do what you will.