Saturday, April 24, 2010

Curried Coconut Aubergine with Potatoes

If you've been following this blog for a while, then you will know that I love the following things:  almost anything that I can cook using one pan (two at the most);  bold, flavourful dishes that are either Mediterranean or Asian inspired;  using fresh, seasonal ingredients with a minimal amount of meat - which also explains my love of the food philosophy and recipes of Mark Bittman;  and, my iPhone.

My recipe this week comes about as a happy collision of all of these things - like one of those wonderous moments when the planets align themselves - actually I'm not entirely sure what would happen then, but I'm pretty sure it would be wonderous!!

Now I know that you can probably see the connection between the first three things on the list, but you're no doubt wondering what the iPhone has to do with anything.  Be patient - I'll get to that.

As you know, for the last few weeks I have been joining in with the I Heart Cooking Clubs group, cooking the recipes of Mark Bittman (aka The Minimalist).  This week our theme was Pot Luck, which in short meant that we didn't have to stick to any theme whatsoever - we were given free license to cook anything we liked as long as, of course, it was a Mark Bittman recipe.

Okay, I'm sure you're with me so far.  Next step was deciding what kind of dish I wanted to make - I felt I wanted something savoury (not a dessert), and something fairly hearty.  As we get deeper into autumn now, although the days have been spectacular, the nights are definitely getting cooler - it's time for more substantial food.  In my vegetable crisper I happened to have a couple of bags of gorgeous aubergines that I had picked up at the Lyttelton Farmers Market last weekend, which were just begging to be turned into something, and they would for sure lend themselves to some kind of Mediterranean or Asian style dish.

So time to decide on a recipe, with aubergine as the key ingredient.  I would start with a search of online recipes first ... but wait I'll just do a quick Twitter check first since I'm at the computer anyway (as you do), and holy guacamole I discover an iPhone application for "How to Cook Everything" has just been released this very day - all 2,000 recipes and variations from the book, how-to illustrations, a place to keep favourites, shopping lists, built-in timers - and all for only US$1.99 (that worked out at $2.60 in my money) - that's less than the price of a cup of coffee for goodness sake.  It took just seconds to download, and hey presto I now have the whole book at my fingertips any time, any place.  A quick browse of the recipes, selecting eggplant as my main ingredient turned up 23 different suggestions, and it took me scarcely a moment to know that this recipe had my name written all over it.

This dish ticked all the boxes for me - a creamy coconut curry was the perfect thing for a cool autumn evening;  I had all the ingredients needed on hand, with the exception of coriander, but I did have some fresh kaffir lime leaves which, finely shredded, would make a nice substitute;  chopping board to table time - about 45 minutes;  and of course I could make the whole dish in one pot - score!  This curry delivered plenty of flavour (though I think I would increase the cumin a bit next time) and a good bit of heat from the cayenne pepper.  The aubergine and potatoes (I put in some green beans as well) had beautiful texture and worked together beautifully;  both soaked up plenty of flavour without losing body.  I will for sure be making this again, and I wouldn't hesitate to bring this dish if I was coming to a pot luck dinner at your place.

Do you have a favourite dish that you go to regularly for a pot luck?  I'd love to hear.

Curried Coconut Aubergine with Potatoes Recipe
Adapted from Mark Bittman's

Serves 4
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1) The quantities and selection of vegetables does not need to be precise.  Feel free to try adding other vegetables such as cauliflower, mushrooms or red peppers, or adjusting the quantities and proportions to suit what you have on hand or what is available.
2) The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons sliced garlic.  I cut this back considerably, which for me was really an occupational consideration rather than one of taste - hey, I'm a yoga teacher ... when I'm getting up-close and personal with you in a posture, I'm pretty sure you don't want me breathing last night's garlic fumes all over you.  So feel free to boost the garlic quantity if you like more.
3)  You could substitute 2-3 tablespoons of green or red curry paste for the ingredients listed from mustard seeds through to garlic.

2-3 pounds aubergine
(I used 750g aubergine & 250g green beans)
3 large potatoes
(I used up 9 small new potatoes)
3-4 tomatoes (depending on size), OR
can of tomatoes including their juice

1 tablespoon unflavoured oil, such as sunflower

1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

425ml can coconut milk
freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1-2 limes
coriander, freshly chopped
(I substituted 2 finely shredded kaffir lime leaves)

First prepare the vegetables.  Cut the aubergine into 2cm cubes (you can do the salting & standing thing if you like, but as I had baby aubergines and as they are not going to be fried in lots of oil I don't think it's necessary).  If using green beans, cut the stalk ends off, and you may or may not want to cut them into shorter lengths - up to you.  Cut the potatoes into 2cm cubes (mine were very small, so I just quartered them).  Peel, core and deseed the tomatoes, and then chop the flesh into smallish dice.

Put the mustard seeds and oil into a large pot and set over medium heat.  As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, add in the remaining spices, the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, or until the garlic and ginger have softened, taking care not to let them burn.

Add the tomatoes, potatoes, aubergine, and coconut milk.  Add a generous pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  (If using beans, don't put them in just yet).  As soon as everything starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(I also had some of these kaffir limes that I picked up at the market, so I cut the rinds off one of them and dropped them in while the curry simmered away, together with the finely shredded kaffir lime leaves.  I really love the way this "fragrances" the dish, as well as enhancing flavour, but this is not in the original recipe, and you should feel free to leave it out altogether if you like.)

After about 20 minutes of simmering, add the green beans, add some more coconut milk or water if it is looking a bit dry, and allow to simmer for about another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.

Stir in the lime juice, and taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.  Serve with steamed basmati rice and garnish with freshly chopped coriander.

Do go and visit I Heart Cooking Club, and see what everyone else has been cooking up for our Mark Bittman Pot Luck - you'll find plenty to inspire every palate.

How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition), Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food     How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food     Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less (Thorndike Large Print Health, Home and Learning)

Available from Amazon, Book Depository UK, or Fishpond NZ or get the How to Cook Everything application on your iPhone.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baked Brill with Tomato & Fennel Sauce - Cooking Italy 7

This fish dish was an assignment for the Cooking Italy group - a group of food enthusiasts learning to cook regional Italian food through the recipes of Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. (You can visit Angela at Spinach Tiger or view my Cooking Italy page to learn more about the group and see what some of the others have been cooking.)  This dish was actually one of our recipes for March and, even though I did manage to make the dish back in March, it has been sitting in "draft" for several weeks now.

I don't know why it has taken me so long to get around to writing up this post.  Perhaps I didn't want it to get lonely - after all, it is in good company there in my draft box, along with a whole lot of other posts in various stages of completion that have yet to make it to actual publication.  But seriously, even now I am feeling some kind of reticence about this post, trying to find the right words.  Certainly I felt a distinct lack of enthusiasm about making the dish - in fact just days before I had said to someone, "I want an interesting fish dish - I'm so over "fish in tomato-based sauces" recipes".  So, I wasn't exactly fired up about making this;  but, hey, it was on the list and, unlike some other recipes on the list, there wasn't anything unseasonal for me required (most other members of the group are in the northern hemisphere, so I'm sometimes out of step with everyone else) and I had everything on hand that I needed except the actual piece of fish.

Well, I was more than pleasantly surprised by this dish.  As I have now come to expect from Marcella's dishes, this totally delivered on flavour, colour, and texture, as well as ease of preparation and cooking - every ingredient is balanced perfectly, achieving a dish which is both elegant and comforting at the same time - another two characteristics that I am discovering arise again and again in Marcella's recipes.  (By the way, if you would like to read a bit more about Marcella Hazan, and her husband Victor check out this post by Jaden over at Steamy Kitchen - Jaden writes one of the blogs I follow regularly, and she had the extraordinary privilege a few days ago of cooking with Marcella in her home - I am so envious!)

Back to the fish - I did make a couple of small changes to the recipe.  Firstly, the day I choose to make this I couldn't get any fresh sole, but instead found a beautiful piece of brill that was just the right size for two people.  As Marcella suggests, any flat fish will do for this.

I had never eaten brill before, but I loved its firm, yet succulent texture and flavour which easily stood up to the sauce.  I cut this fillet in half down the middle, lengthwise, and each portion was the perfect size for one person.

The other big change I made, and I frankly think this was an improvement, was replacing the onion in the sauce with fennel.  As we "don't do onions" in our house - actually I can take them or leave them, but my "significant other" absolutely won't have a bar of them - I used a thinly sliced fennel bulb instead.

Now I may be "bastardising" some very classical and traditional Italian recipe here, but to my palate the fennel was infinitely better in both taste and texture than the onion would have been.

Marcella also suggests optionally including a hot, red chilli, which I didn't, but I can imagine that if you wanted something to fire-up your taste buds a little more that would be a good addition.

Baked Brill with Tomato & Fennel Sauce
Adapted from Marcella Hazan's
Serves 3-4
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1 large bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
400g tinned tomatoes in their juice, crushed
flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons capers (I prefer salted)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper, or
1 hot, red chilli, chopped
brill or other flatfish fillets

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees C (450 degrees F).

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the sliced fennel and cook until it softens and begins to colour slightly.  Add the garlic, and once the garlic is ever so slightly browned, add the crushed tomatoes and a couple of generous pinches of salt.  Give everything a good stir to combine well, and then simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  By this stage the sauce will have thickened (you may need to add a little bit of water during this time).  Add the capers, herbs, pepper or chilli; stir to combine and simmer for just another minute or so longer.  Remove from the heat.

Wash and dry the fish fillets.  The fillets will be folded in half, and then put into an ovenproof dish, slightly overlapping, so choose a baking dish which is just large enough to accommodate all your fillets in a single layer.

Spread a thin layer of the sauce over the base of your baking dish.  Dip the fillets in the sauce, coating them well on both sides.  Fold the fillets in half, arrange in the dish, and pour the remaining sauce over the top of the fillets - you want to end up with fish fillets which are more or less "smothered" inside and out with the sauce.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish - mine took closer to 10 minutes, but you want to be careful not to overcook the fillets, so maybe check them after 5 minutes.

I served this just with some crusty sourdough bread (perfect for dunking into that luscious sauce) and a simple rocket and parmesan salad.  Oh, and did I mention a lovely, crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc is just the thing to wash it down with!!

So, even though I said I was soooooo over tomato-based fish dishes, this one has hit my list of ones that is destined to be repeated in my house many times over.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sauteed Chicken with Green Olives and White Wine

Let me begin by telling you that this is probably one of the best chicken dishes I have ever made, and one that I can absolutely guarantee I will be making again many times over.  This dish has plenty of flavour, colour, texture;  it's a doddle to make in a very short period of time;  requires minimal preparation;  and would be a great dish to make for a crowd.

So let me tell you how I happily stumbled on this one.  At I Heart Cooking Clubs we continue cooking up a storm with Mark Bittman, and our theme for the week was Pantry Raid.  The challenge - to use up a few of those ingredients languishing on the pantry shelf - what a happy project for me.  There is always plenty to choose from on my pantry shelves - I buy pantry items like most other women buy shoes and handbags (though I have been known to indulge in a few of those as well).  I go away on holiday and come back with bags full of food - I could well be the Imelda Marcos of the pantry.

But I digress, back to the challenge.  This was great timing.  Saturday afternoon I usually like to go to the Mediterranean Food Warehouse to stock up on a few necessities - okay so it's questionable whether or not roasted artichoke hearts and pomegranate molasses are actual "necessities", but in my world they're positively essential!  So mid-week was the perfect time to check the pantry shelves to see what I needed, and what could be used up on this challenge.

My search uncovered 1/3rd of a jar of green olives - great I wanted to use those up, so I could get some of those gorgeous looking Sicilian green olives I'd noticed last week.  An almost finished jar of balsamic vinegar - would be good to use that up too and get a new jar.  Also noticed a small handful of walnuts - I always buy those in very small quantities and don't like to keep them hanging around too long.

So, next step, a search through some of Mark Bittman's recipes to see what I could come up with that needed green olives, balsamic vinegar and walnuts.  I expected to find some kind of salad recipe, but was delighted to come across this chicken recipe that also required a few other things I was keen to use up from the fridge and freezer.  In short I didn't have to got out for a single thing.

Mark's recipe called for a 3-4 pound chicken (that's 1.4-1.8kg in our language) to serve 4 people.  I happened to have a 1kg bag of organic chicken pieces, which made three very generous servings - in fact probably could have fed four people with smaller appetites than us, or if you were serving this as part of a multi-course meal.  I also needed some white wine - check, half bottle, opened last weekend, still in the fridge;  a lemon - yes, one lemon left in the fruit bowl;  and freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley or tarragon - I happened to have both of those so used a combination of the two.

I also rustled up some basmati rice from the pantry to serve with it.

Sauteed Chicken With Green Olives & White Wine Recipe
Adapted from Mark Bittman's
Serves 3-4
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1kg organic chicken pieces
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
2 cups white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup green olives, unpitted
1 lemon, sliced thinly
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or tarragon

First of all prepare the olives.  Tip them out onto a board, and press each one lightly with the flat blade of a knife (or you could use the bottom of a glass or cup) until the flesh just breaks.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the hot oil, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, turning as necessary, and seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.  This will take about 10 minutes. You may have to do this in batches - take care not to overcrowd the pan at this stage.

Once you have cooked all your chicken, return all pieces to the pan, skin side up, pour the wine and balsamic vinegar around the chicken, and add the olives to the pan.  Simmer vigorously until the chicken is nearly cooked through - about 10-15 minutes.

At this stage add the lemon slices to the pan and continue to cook for the final few minutes until the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken from the pan and arrange it, along with the lemon slices, on a serving platter.

Add the walnuts to the sauce, adjust the seasoning to taste, pour the sauce over the chicken.  Sprinkle the fresh herbs over the top.  Serve immediately.

Now I was on a roll, cooking without leaving the house.  What else could I come up with?  I discovered some radishes in the fridge that needed to be used up;  half a preserved lemon - the last one from the batch I made last year, and its time now to make more;  and half a bag of broad beans in the freezer.  So the finishing touch to the meal was turning this little assortment into a Radish & Broad Bean Salad from the Ottolenghi cookbook.

How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America's Chefs

Friday, April 16, 2010

If you were a season, what would you be?

Me, without question, I would be autumn.  Quite apart from now being in what I consider the autumn of my life - yes, I believe the human life cycle has its seasons just like nature - I have always been drawn to all things autumnal.  One of my fondest memories is that of coming to Christchurch on a holiday in May when I was 10 years old.  Coming from Auckland (a city which almost seems to completely by-pass autumn), I was blown away by the colours of the autumn foliage.  I recall gathering up armfuls of leaves in every imaginable shade of yellow, orange and red, and then insisting on taking them all back home with me and pressing them all into a scrapbook.

There is so much about autumn that I love.   The days are still beautifully warm (20 to 24 degrees C), and we seem to get a reprieve from the wretched, cold Easterly wind that ruins many a good summer day in Christchurch.

I adore the colours of autumn, and they're the same colours I'm drawn to in my clothes and the things that I surround myself with in my home.  Skies are blue and clear, not in that harsh and brash way that we observe in a summer sky, but softer and more brittle, with a hint of the cooler skies that are yet to come, and everything is imbued with a golden light that almost makes your heart ache.  Foliage everywhere in this garden city is turning to shades of celadon, chartreuse, amber, russet, cabernet, and already fallen leaves "clatter" down the street in the occasional breeze.

And of course I love autumn food - crisp, cool salad days are slipping away, and we start to think of things that stick to the ribs a little more - I'm starting to think of mushroom risotto, pumpkin curry, sweet potato ravioli, and apple crumble.

Earlier this week we were blessed with probably the most perfect autumn day I've ever experienced - the kind of day that is so perfect you want it to last forever.  So, having done an early morning yoga practice, and no class to teach until evening, it seemed like the perfect afternoon to enjoy some time in our Botanical Gardens.  I was not alone - seemed like half of Christchurch had come out to enjoy the day.  It being school holidays, small children were enjoying a last splash in the pool before the winter covers go on;  "bigger kids" paddled on the river;  and a young Japanese couple posing for their wedding photos, gazed adoringly at each other as though the Gods had designed this day with just them in mind.

I hope I can remember this day in a few months time, when we are shivering inside several layers of clothing and longing for spring to come.  I took my camera with me so that I could share this day with you.

This tulip tree is right outside our yoga school.  Although I photographed this from street level, our windows open right into its branches.  I love to watch the seasons pass by gazing into this tree on a daily basis.

It was a beautiful day even for the bees!

Shadows lengthen.

I have no idea what this bush is called, but I love its heart-shaped leaves in so many colours.

Green lace canopy

Autumn crocuses

I don 't know what this shrub is either, but the flowers make me think of ballerinas

I love this circle of trees

Hydrangea hedge

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing

To everything - turn, turn, turn
There is a season - turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!
- The Byrds

Wherever in the world you are right now, I wish you peace, happiness, and all the joy that the season can bring.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Butter Recipe - Cooking Italy 6

For some unknown reason, I've always had a rather irrational fear of making gnocchi - I had managed to convince myself that they were impossibly difficult to make, that I would end up with something that either resembled bullets or, worse yet, would fall to bits when cooked and that I would be left with some kind of raft of horrible sludge bobbing around atop a pot of boiling water.

So when making spinach gnocchi was presented as an assignment for the Cooking Italy group, I thought it was time to face my fears and give them a try.  (Go and visit Angela at Spinach Tiger or view my Cooking Italy page to learn more about the group and see what some of the others have been cooking.)  To cut a long story short, our mission, should we decide to accept it was to cook the Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi recipe from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, served with a creamy tomato sauce.

Well, maybe it was beginner's luck, but I found these to actually be incredibly easy to make (a little bit fiddly maybe, but certainly not difficult), and the resulting little "pillows" of spinach and ricotta were light as air and never even hinted at falling apart. Despite the fact that I left out the onion (since we don't do onion in our house), these gnocchi were certainly not short on flavour - the ricotta is light and delicate, the flavour of the spinach is earthy and mellow, and then they were spiked with the sharp, salty tang of prosciutto (you could simply omit this for a vegetarian version) and parmesan, and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg pulls it all together.

I knew the creamy tomato sauce wouldn't be that popular in our household, and as I happened to have a nice bunch of sage on hand, I opted to serve these with Marcella's Butter and Sage Sauce.   This added a note of richness, and I thought made this seem rather elegant - okay, so my presentation in these pictures doesn't look particularly elegant - but I think had I served half a dozen of these in a beautiful wide bowl and drizzled the sauce over the top a little more artfully, this could have been a very stylish dish indeed.

Another thing that is particularly appealing about this dish is that every step of this can be prepared in advance, in fact the gnocchi freeze beautifully and can be cooked from frozen.  Getting them to the table is then a simple matter of boiling water, literally just 3-4 minutes of cooking time, and melting butter.  Perfect for making on a wet Sunday afternoon, and bringing out for a quick and easy week night dinner.

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe
with Butter & Sage Sauce
Adapted from Marcella Hazan's
Serves 4
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

For the gnocchi:
450g spinach, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons butter
2 slices prosciutto (optional)
3/4 cup fresh ricotta
2/3 cup plain flour
2 egg yolks
1 cup parmesan, freshly grated
nutmeg, freshly grated
extra parmesan for serving

For the sauce:
4-5 tablespoons butter
6-8 fresh sage leaves

First prepare the spinach.  

If using fresh spinach (which is what I used), remove stems, then soak leaves in a sink full of cold water, and swish around gently with your hand to remove any dirt or bugs.  Drain and repeat several times if necessary.  Drain.  Then, using no more water than what is still clinging to the leaves, put the spinach into a large pan, add 1 tablespoon of salt, cover, and set over medium heat until wilted down and tender.  This will take about 4-5 minutes.  Drain, and once the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze as much moisture out of it as you can, chop coarsely and set aside.

If using frozen spinach, Marcella says to "cook in a covered pan with salt for about 5 minutes".  Now, I can't vouch for this because I've never used frozen spinach, but I wouldn't have thought that this step was necessary, as I would have expected it to be already cooked, but I suggest that you perhaps follow the directions on the packet.  Either way, once it is cooked it needs to drained, cooled, squeezed to remove any moisture, and then chopped.

Next heat the butter in a pan over medium heat, then add the chopped prosciutto.  Cook just for a few seconds - really just enough to coat the prosciutto in the butter - you are not aiming for crispy here.  Then add the chopped spinach, a generous pinch of salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

Empty the pan into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.  Once cooled, add the flour and the ricotta, mixing together well.  Add the egg yolks, grated parmesan, and a "smidgeon" of freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/8th teaspoon), and mix together until everything is incorporated.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Roll small amounts of the mixture in the palm of your hand to make "small pellets", dusting your hands with a little flour if you find the mixture is sticking to your palms.  Marcella says:  "Ideally they should be no bigger than 1/2 inch across, but if you find it troublesome to make them that small you can try for 3/4 inch.  The smaller the better, because they cook more quickly and favour a better distribution of sauce."  I have to say that I didn't get my ruler out to check the size of mine, and I expect that mine were probably a little on the large side - but I'm not one to fuss, and I'm calling them "rustic".  I got 40 gnocchi out of this quantity of ingredients, and froze half of them - I just popped them in the freezer in a single layer on a baking tray till frozen, then put them into a snaplock bag.

To serve - bring a large pot of water to the boil, and salt liberally.  Drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the boiling water.  They will sink to the bottom of the pot, and then when they bob back up to the surface (which will take about 4 or 5 minutes) they are ready.  Using a slotted spoon, scoop the gnocchi out and place in a warm serving bowl.  Spoon a little of your chosen sauce over them.  Continue cooking your gnocchi a few at a time, adding each batch with a little more sauce to your serving bowl as you go.  Once they are all done, pour any remaining sauce over the top, and serve with grated parmesan.

For the Butter and Sage Sauce:

Put the butter in a small pan over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted it will begin to boil and foam up quite dramatically.  Be brave - the foam will begin to subside, and the colour will turn to deep gold.  Then add the sage leaves, cook for just a few seconds, turning them around in the butter, then pour the butter and leaves over the gnocchi.

I know that this is a recipe I will be making again and again - those bags in the freezer are so perfect to bring out when you need a quick dinner.

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking