Thursday, June 04, 2009

Tuesday June 2nd - leftover Artichoke Fettucini and Yam Gnocci in Garlic Sage Butter

I hope you're drooling from the title because I am and I've already eaten it. Both dishes were awesome.

I was so organised this weekend and we bought loads of groceries since I knew it was going to be a hell week at work. I've been keeping bankers' hours without bankers' money. grrr. Anyhoo, I managed to stay home today knowing that my end of the day call would likely run until quite late. What's awesome about that is that I get lovely lunches if, both because I'm home as well as since we've planned ahead, there is always extra dinner.

Lunch, I had a portion of the Lemon Braised Articoke with Spinach Fettucini with a chopped chilli ... the recipe for the artichokes is here:

I just took a medium spicy chilli and sliced it up. When I have the time, I prefer to heat food up in a pan or the oven so I don't kill all the nutrients and vitamins. YOu can loose more than 60% of nutrients in vegetables by microwaving. Medium heat with a little extra olive oil if there isn't enough left on the dish. It was wonderful and I love the little kick of heat from the chillis. D thinks I randomly add heat to everything. And to be honest, left to my own devices, I'll sneak something in. I do it less now with D since he's not a fan. And if I do, I'll warn him :-)

Dinner was

Yam Gnocci in Garlic Sage Butter

We bought 500g of fresh Yam Gnocci in the italian market on Commercial. To be frank, I was not impressed with it. The disappointment is not in the taste. The taste was amazing. I was fairly irked when after getting of a work call at after 7pm, I think I'm in for an easy put together meal. I grab the bag of the Yam Gnocci and it's all one gigantic lump. Only say 5 of the gnocci stayed in gnocci shape!!! Now gnocci is not difficult to make. It's just messy, time consuming and messy. Basically: potato, egg and flour. Well I guess they handed sufficiently floured because they were very soft and also did not want their independence from one another.

Last thing I needed. I had thought D was going to be home from volleyball at like 8h30 and I still needed to buy wine.

I got out the big cutting board, poured out all the lumps. I took a large dish and sprinkled the bottom with whole wheat flour. I dusted my hands with some extra flour and started to reroll each one. Then tossed the lot in the dish until each was covered in a light coating of flour. I put the whole dish back in the fridge. I normally like to bring fresh pasta to room temperature before cooking so it doesn't drop the temperature of the water. But in this case, to keep form, I left it in the fridge until the last minute.

Sage garlic butter

I cut a 1 cm slice off a pound of butter. I think that's about 4 good pats of butter. Use more or less as you like. I also augmented with a T of olive oil to prevent burning.

Medium to low heat. Add 5 cloves of thinly sliced garlic. Simmer on low heat to infuse the butter and gently brown the garlic. You don't want to over brown the garlic, the taste is entirely different and you don't want any raw garlic flavour dominating. When the foaming from water in the butter subsides, 5 - 10 minutes, add the sage. The sage should only go in a few minutes before you're going to serve. You don't want to burn it.


Boil a very big pot of water. Filled as much as you can with enough room for the pasta. That way the amount of water will be able to keep temperature when you add the cold pasta. I did stop boiling for a bit but it came back. Add a T of salt and a bit of oil. Since they're fresh, it should only take a few minutes. Gnocci (not ravioli as I've discovered) are done when they're floating.

Spoon the gnocci with a slotted spoon into the pan with the butter. Keep the heat on. YOu'll want to add a few spoonfuls of the pasta water you cooked the gnocci in until you get the lubrication you like. Top with parmesan cheese.

I had some crushed chili flakes on the side. MMMMMMMM from the Francis Ford Coppola winery. Nice kick. I need more!

We had a bottle of FontanaFredda Barbaresco (Italian Red, gorgeous)

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