Day 22: great Friday night food today. Quick and simple, not too much shopping or washing up. Just a bowlful of healthy, satisfying food, colourful and oh-so-tasty. Frying the gnocchi in a little olive oil adds a wonderful crunch, quite different from using the traditional boiling method. The sauce works very well with many other dishes: pasta, pizza, as a topping for baked potatoes (delicious with hummus on the side) or perhaps bruschetta. Add some aubergine or courgette if you are keen to include as many vegetables as possible. If you prefer a smooth sauce, just put a wand blender to it at the end of the cooking time. Give this great all-rounder a try.
gnocchi with tomato sauce
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
800 gr canned chopped tomatoes
1 tsp cumin powder
500 gr gnocchi
salt and pepper
In a medium sauce pan, fry the onion over low heat in 1 tbsp of olive oil until softened.
Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, red pepper and carrot.
Add the tomatoes and cumin. Bring to the boil, then simmer until very thick, stirring occasionally. (On a low heat this will take about 45 minutes. If you are in a hurry, turn the heat up a bit and stir more frequently, especially towards the end of cooking.)
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
About 12 minutes before the end of cooking, heat a large frying pan until fairly hot. Pour in the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and gently put in the gnocchi, separating them with a wooden spoon.
Fry for about 10 minutes until they transform from pale to golden and crunchy, shaking the pan to make sure both sides of the gnocchi colour.
Serve hot, with some green salad tossed with seeds.