Beetroot-blushed gnocchi to fill your heart with love this Valentines

Beetroot-blushed gnocchi with heart-beets and rocket

Gnocchi is one of the quickest dishes to prepare and whether fresh or packet, has a cooking time of just 3 to 6 minutes. Garnished with beetroot love hearts, a handful of rocket and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese this valentine’s supper is sure to be a winner for all the family.

For those wishing to get their hands a little dirty this Valentines then why not make your own gnocchi? Ideal for those following a gluten free diet as you can easily switch regular flour for a gluten-free alternative to mix into the potato dough. See the recipe below.

Beetroot is truly a food of love…. with its deep red colour, and earthy texture, its thought to help improve blood flow and increase stamina. Research suggests its nitrate-rich flesh can also help lower blood pressure making it good for your heart-beet! Beetroot is a good source of iron and folate (naturally occurring folic acid) which support energy and detoxification processes. It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants (notably betacyanin) which help protect against the stresses of everyday life by protecting our cells. There’s lots to love from this vegetable so why not love yourself this Valentines and give this recipe try.

 

Ingredients: Gnocchi, Beetroot, Butter, Parmesan Cheese, Rocket

Utensils: Heart-shaped pastry / biscuit cutter, sieved spoon (with holes to drain water)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare a large pan of lightly-salted boiling water ready to cook the gnocchi.
  2. Take 1 beetroot and cut into 3 or 4 chunky slices. Using the heart-shaped pastry cutter, cut out enough hearts to decorate your plates. Place any discarded pieces of beetroot into the boiling water to colour the gnocchi pink.
  3. In a small fry pan, melt a large chunk of butter until liquid.
  4. Place the gnocchi in the boiling water and cook according to the pack guidelines (typically till the gnocchi float).
  5. As the gnocchi begin to float, scoop out using a sieved spoon and place in the melted butter so that they don’t stick together.
  6. Serve with a side of rocket leaves and grate parmesan cheese on top eh voila!
  7. If you’re not a fan of beetroot then why not experiment with another coloured vegetable or even strawberries, or switch to a more traditional accompaniment of pesto or ragù sauce.

Home-made Gnocchi

Ingredients: 1 kg potatoes (preferably slightly old as they contain less water), 400g white flour (for Gluten-free; 200g each rice / quinoa flour), 1 large egg, table salt, and extra flour for dusting. Rock salt for cooking.

Preparation: 1 hour + 10 mins cooking

  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins until you can insert a knife easily.
  2. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then rub off the skin.
  3. Mash the potato with a potato creamer.
  4. Add in the flour and egg and mix into a smooth dough adding table salt to taste.
  5. Cut off small sections and roll into a long sausage c. 1cm in diameter and then cut into small gnocchi pieces (they don’t necessarily need to be uniform).
  6. Place all gnocchi on a heavily floured board before cooking to soak up an excess moisture.
  7. Bring a large deep pan of water to the boil, add some rock salt and bit by bit throw in the gnocchi. You’ll probably need to cook them in 3-4 stages.
  8. As soon as the gnocchi float they are ready for eating (c. 3-5 mins).
  9. For added greenery, add in frozen peas, baby leaf spinach & chopped zucchini (or any greens which have a similar cook time of 3-5 mins like the gnocchi)
  10. Scoop the gnocchi out with a large sieved spoon and toss into serving dish with any of the following; butter & sage, gorgonzola, pesto, meat ragu, and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Home-made Pesto:

Ingredients:1 big bunch of basil, 1 pack Pine nuts (or substitute sunflower seeds), Grated fresh parmesan (generous helping), 1-2 anchovies (optional), 1 clove garlic (optional), Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation:  5 minutes

Strip the leaves from the basil and put in blender with pine nuts, grated parmesan and anchovies. Blend together whilst adding in the olive oil until it reaches a paste-like consistency. Decant into a jam jar and cover with olive oil. You can keep in fridge or freezer but it is important that each time you use a spoonful that you cover with olive oil to preserve the pesto and stop it from discolouring and becoming hard.

 

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