Pea and Pancetta Gnocchi with Garlic Bread

If you like a quick and easy recipe, where speed does not mean a compromise of flavour, then this is the perfect dish to cook after a day of nine till five classes.

Salty pancetta wonderfully compliments the rich, creamy sauce and a garlic bread side dish provides a deeply satisfying crunch. 

Whilst the indulgent ingredients may raise a few eyebrows when it comes to the cost of the dish, value for money can be gained by incorporating the ingredients into other meals during the week. 

Alternatively, freeze them before they spoil, to use at a later date.  I like to use white wine to create the sauce, making this the perfect meal to have the day after pre’s with any left-over Sauvignon. 

However, the dish works just as well with chicken stock as a non-alcoholic (and admittedly cheaper) alternative. The recipe is intended to make enough for two people, but rather than halving the recipe why not have the rest for lunch the next day, it is as delicious cold as it is hot.

 

For the gnocchi:

Ingredients:

1 packet of gnocchi

1 tbsp olive oil

75 g of pancetta cubes or bacon lardons

100g frozen peas

1 onion

4 tbsp white wine or chicken stock

3 tbsp crème fraiche

25 g of parmesan

 

Method:

Heat the water on a high heat until it reaches boiling point and then add the gnocchi. Turn down the heat slightly and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.

When the gnocchi floats to the surface, it is not far off being ready! When the gnocchi is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and drain.

Heat the oil in the pan and add the pancetta. Fry until deliciously crisp and golden, but be careful not to let the pancetta burn!

Add the chopped onion to the pan and fry on a lower heat until it has softened. 

After this, pour the wine (or chicken stock) into the pan and add the peas along with the crème fraiche. Simmer for around one minute to thicken the sauce just slightly.

Tip the drained gnocchi and the parmesan into the pan and mix to coat all the gnocchi in the creamy, indulgent sauce.

Finish with a dusting of parmesan and serve with divine home-made garlic bread.

 

For the garlic bread:

This is a bit of a cheat’s home-made garlic bread, using up leftovers and saving considerable time than baking your own loaf, yet it maintains a rustic flavour much superior than any shop-bought alternative.

Ingredients:

2 slices of ciabatta

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1 garlic clove

 

Method:

Firstly, heat the grill to high.

In the meantime, finely chop the garlic and thoroughly combine with the mayonnaise and butter, creating a thick paste. 

Spread generously over the ciabatta and grill for around 2 to 3 minutes, or alternatively, when it starts to smell amazing!

Remove from the grill and add to your bowl of gnocchi to enjoy a decadent feast of a dish.

Image: Mollie Beresford

 

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The Student Newspaper 2016