Gnocchi di patate

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I made this as I had about 500g of mashed potato, half a tub of ricotta and some double cream (fast approaching its sell-by-date). Not a very colourful dish, but great comfort food! Serves 2.

  • 500g mashed potato
  • 130g strong (sifted) white flour (plus extra for rolling out the gnocchi)
  • 125g ricotta
  • 100g gorgonzola (grated)
  • 100ml double cream
  • Black pepper

Mix together the mashed potato, flour and ricotta. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and thoroughly mixed together. Cut into 3 pieces and roll each into a ‘sausage’ (about 2.5cm in diameter). Cut each sausage into 1cm thick slices (these will flatten out as you cut them as the potato, flour and ricotta dough is very soft), place on a floured tray, and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.

Cook by boiling about 5 litres of water in a large pan. Tip the gnocchi into the boiling water (the gnocchi are likely to be a bit sticky, so you may have to ease them off the tray with a knife/spatula). Remove the gnocchi on to 2 plates as they rise to the surface of the boiling water (using a slotted spoon) and keep them warm in a low oven.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the gorgonzola and the cream, mixing all the time, until it just begins to boil. Pour over the gnocchi and grind over black pepper to taste.

Penne with spinach and gorgonzola

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A quick supper for two:
3 handfuls of dried penne (or other ‘chunky’ pasta)
2 tbsp pine nuts
100g gorgonzola (or dolcelatte, stilton or other blue cheese)
150ml double cream
200g fresh spinach
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the penne in accordance with the instructions on the packet.
Toast the pine nuts (until they are golden) on a backing sheet under a grill (do not allow to burn – they will brown quite fast). Cut the gorgonzola into small pieces.
Wash the spinach and drain (if you have a ‘salad spinner’ use that to remove any excess water).
Once the penne is cooked, drain it.
Into the same saucepan (over a lower heat) put the cream and the gorgonzola. Stir to break up the gorgonzola (a balloon whisk is useful here).
When the cream mixture has boiled, add the penne and the pine nuts and stir to coat with the cream mixture.
Turn up the heat and add the spinach, stirring constantly (the spinach will cook in a few minutes – it is useful to use a very large saucepan as it is easier to stir in all the spinach at once).
Add black pepper to taste and serve immediately.