Cheesy Leek and Red Pepper Gnocchi

Gnocchi is one of my favourite comfort foods. If you’ve never had it before, it’s kind of like a luxurious mash-up of pasta and potato. In this recipe, I’ve paired it up with a delicious vegetarian sauce. Because you don’t have to splash out on pricey meat, it means that you can buy better quality ingredients without breaking the bank. For instance, I use an insane smoked mozzarella, called scamorza, which adds a depth of flavour like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve put links to the more unusual ingredients so you know what you’re looking for. The recipe below serves 2, and it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but I’d probably avoid freezing portions. This is one of the ultimate Friday night comfort food dishes for students!IMG_5751Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Leek, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning
  • Pinch of Chilli Flakes (or some fresh Red Chilli)
  • 4 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Roasted Red Peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 bricks of Frozen Spinach
  • 400g Fresh Gnocchi
  • 200g Scamorza (or Mozzarella if you’re watching the pennies)
  • 30g Parmesan, grated

Method

  1. Whack a frying pan on a low heat. Drizzle in the olive oil and add the garlic, thyme and chilli flakes. Allow the oil to infuse a little, but make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. After a minute, bring the heat up to medium and add the leeks to the pan, along with the italian seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for 8 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the red pepper and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  2. At this stage, it’s time to get saucy. Add the chopped tomatoes and frozen spinach. Loosen with a drop of  water if you need to. Bring to the boil, before dropping the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the sauce to blip away for 10 minutes. In this time, the spinach should break up, so stir you can stir it through the sauce.
  3. In a saucepan of salted boiling water, add the gnocchi for just a couple of minutes. Do not overcook it because you’ll be left with a weird kind of mashed potato if you do!
  4. After 2 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi to your sauce and stir it through evenly. Tear the scamorza over the top and finish with a generous grating of parmesan. Throw into an oven at 200℃ for a final 10 minutes, or until the scamorza oozes into beautiful pools of deliciousness. During this time, the gnocchi will suck up all the delicious flavours from the sauce. Leave to cool for a minute when you take it out of the oven. Buon appetito!
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