The summer hols have started in my house. My daughters have weeks ahead to relax, explore, learn and grow. It’s a time to unwind and go at a more leisurely pace, no 6.30am wake up calls until September *does happy dance*. New additions to our family have arrived – two mini lop bunnies, so rabbit is firmly off the menu from henceforth.
Picnics are wonderful but sometimes more of a proper meal at lunch time is required. This recipe is straightforward and although there are a couple of parts to bring together it really does not take long. I also love the bright summer colours of this meal, you can’t help but be happy when eating it. If you want to make it a morning activity though and involve your children/friends/partner then making your own gnocchi is really good fun. Here is my recipe.
I like to make kale crisps to add to this meal. Eleven minutes in a low oven and hey presto you have kale crisps. You can get creative as well and add cayenne pepper, soy, chaat masala, whatever takes your fancy. For this dish I have simply added a sprinkling of rock salt. By all means you can have the kale crisps in a bowl on the side, but I rather like the crisp aspect to the whole dish. It’s comfort food with a twist and they work well with the crispy sage. Broad beans are in season right now and I love to throw them in so many dishes. I prefer to shell them but I leave that to you to decide.
Gnocchi with Butternut Squash, Garlic, Broad Beans and Crispy Sage and Kale
1/2 of a small butternut squash, skin removed and cubed to the size of the gnocchi
100g chopped kale
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp butter
40g shelled broad beans
350g potato gnocchi
salt and pepper to taste
handful of grated parmesan, optional
1. First cube the butternut squash into the size of the gnocchi. Boil in a pan of water along with the broad beans for around 10 minutes, or until soft but not mushy. Rinse under cold water and leave to one side. If you need to shell the broad beans then do so at this stage.
2. Preheat an oven to 140 degrees fahrenheit. Meanwhile separate any stems from the kale and discard. Place the kale on a baking try and add the olive oil. Massage the oil into the kale and make sure that the kale is spread out evenly over the tray. Place in the oven for 11 minutes, by which time the kale will be crisp. If it is not then leave it for a minute or two longer. Keep a watchful eye over it as they can burn quickly. These kale crisps are a great snack but also rather lovely in this dish.
3. In a frying pan add the butter and when it is melted add the garlic. Move around the pan before adding the sage leaves. Allow them to cook on a low heat so that they begin to crisp.
4. Add the butternut squash and broad beans and coat them in the butter, garlic and sage.
5. Place the gnocchi in the pan and boil away for 1 minute or according to instructions. If you fancy making your own – here is my recipe.
6. Strain the gnocchi and add the pan with the other ingredients. Stir together for a minute, season to taste and plate immediately.
7. Sprinkle crispy kale over each serving with a scattering of parmesan as desired.