It has been a considerable time since I have been excited enough about what was on my plate to jump up from the table and grab the camera mid-meal. Our meal this evening was (as it commonly is) a bit of a gamble. You know, the kind of combination of what is in the larder that should be good but may not be in the end. Happily this was not only okay but pretty amazing. David (religiously underwhelmed and scrupulously reserved with praise) not only commented three times that "this is really...mmmmm, really good!" That may not sound like a high recommendation but trust me, it is :) He followed that with the advice that I should record this one. Combining that with Jonathon's regular complaint that I need to post some simple recipes that everyone can cook (he is "tired of waiting" lol) and I did grab the camera for a mid-meal mini-session.
One would think with the plethora of recipes so readily accessible in various platforms that gambling with dinner is not only unnecessary but plain dumb. The problem is not a lack but rather a surfeit. I am fatigued by the shear abundance of choice - should I refer to a cookbook, or Pinterest, or one of my many 'favourite' blogs, or even Instagram for inspiration. Perhaps one of the collection of magazines piled in the ceramic hibachi next to the kitchen counter? It is somewhere around this point that I (mentally) throw my hands in the air and decide to make a "big salad" (it is summer after all and who wants to turn on the stove?) or resort to a tried and true and simple option. Or... gamble. With an unknown combination of what is on hand.
As what is on hand is most always a healthy assortment of vegetables and grains it really isn't a big gamble. It is hard to go too wrong. This gamble of garden harvest and gnocchetti paid off in a big way. I think it will slot very nicely into the regular rotation of tried, true and simple.
I used some heavy cream in this but you could use half and half if you prefer. If you need a dairy-free option substituting reserved water from cooking the gnocchi would be a good bet. Make you own gnocchi if you like or choose a shelf-stable package from the market, include the Italian sausage or skip it for a meat-free meal. I stripped the kernels off fresh corn on the cob but feel free to use frozen if that works better for you. The rest is dead simple.
garden harvest gnocchetti with fresh corn and tomatoes
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cobs of corn, stripped
1 large sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
500 gm package gnocchetti
1/2 cup cream
3 good handfuls of baby spinach and arugula
a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan - about 1/3 cup
6-10 fresh basil leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp butter or ghee
Cook the gnocchetti in salted boiling water until they float. Drain and set aside.
Pour the olive oil and drop the butter or ghee into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften. Add the sausage, crumbling it as it browns. When the sausage is almost cooked add the corn kernels and allow them to brown a bit, then toss in the cherry tomatoes. A few good twists of pepper and a flick or two of salt fits in well about now. Cook for only a couple of minutes then add the gnocchetti, tossing everything together. Drizzle the cream (or reserved pasta water) over the pasta mixture and toss again. Add the greens (spinach + arugula) and turn them into the mixture to wilt. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and some torn fresh basil leaves. Dinner is ready. That easy.