Thursday, August 13

pan fried gnocchi with wild mushroom and sugar cured bacon

this is definitely a waist line buster. Those of you that know me or read this blog will know that when the girls go away with their dad I break out the flesh at meal times. I get molto carnivore to make up for the endless weeks of vegetarian meals. Dont get me wrong, i love vegetarian and vegan food but when you're deprived of something you really enjoy and and you have some great meat choices available, whatcha gonna do? Eat Meat.
So tonight i chose to use the Black Big sugar cured bacon we bought at Lucias in the Central Market. God i love that place. They cook the most luxe sauces and bake amazing deserts on portable stoves sitting on the countertops people! You jostle between simmering pots for payment space. its fabulous. Anyway, I'd come out of there with some handmade gnocchi (i know- but i didnt, OK. Besides, my gnocchi never tastes like theirs; so light and fluffy, and its just the two of us. A treat!), and some Black Pig products. Have you ever noticed just how many almost vegetarian recipes call for pancetta or a bit of speck? You just can't not do it. That fatty salty essence is, well, the essence! Peas and zucchini on pasta just isnt the same. Digressing, sorry. So gnocci, bacon and gosh, surprise! I just happen to have lots of wild mushroom duxelle in the freezer, frozen for a moment just like this one.
Just for the record before this year i had no idea what a duxelle was, its knowledge only borne of necessity. About 20 kgs of 'got a bit carried away by the fun of mushrooming' necessity and was forced to research and make some glorious long-life mushroom goods, tidy bags of duxelle being one of them.

So I decided on some crunch and chew to compliment the squishy sauce and decided the pan fried gnocchi was the way to go. Major tip of the day. Dont boil the gnocchi if you want to do it pan fried. It doesnt need it and it will end up very water logged and smushy if you do. Just fry them in a bit of butter. I fried thin strips of bacon in their own fat and then when they were browned and a bit crispy on the edges added the defrosted duxelle to the pan which with a couple of cloves of minced garlic even though the duxelle already had garlic. I warmed the musroom mix through and when the gnocchi were browned i salted them, served them and topped with the mushroom and bacon sauce and some creamed ricotta and pecorino. Sadly i was in such a hurry to eat this delight that we forgot to add any greens but upon finishing, we both noted that some freshness and real crunch in the form of rocket or spinach would have really helped and had i had any parsley currently producing, definitely some of that. All up, about an 8/10. Pretty tasty.

The pic above I just liked coz it shows my very aesthetic sensibilities: can you see the good use to which I have put that piece of art on the windowsill? That sculpture made with love from our uber cool Flaming Lotus Girl/ Burning Man niece is my extra plastic bag drying aide when the PuraTap is fully loaded up. Noice touch huh?


Laura Jane said...

Bacon is proof of the existence of God. Most novo-vegetarians I know still miss the taste of bacon.

Nuff said.

emmani said...

Have you seen 'I Am Legend'?
I would be *incredibly* angry if someone ate the last of the bacon left in the world!

Katy said...

This looks so good - I think I willmakeit this weekend - Lucias are one ofmy favourite places too - my cousins has a company called Spice Girlz and they work with Lucias on different things. I love pancetta as well! The Mr and madam are going out Sunday so I think this might be Sunday dinner! Thanks Kel

Katrine said...

this isn't fair kel! now i desperately want to go to lucias and spend ridiculous amounts of money on all there tasty indulgences! it looks so good!

Veggie Gnome said...

OH oh ooooh. I fully agree, bacon / speck gives everything such a fantastic taste.

That meal makes me seriously drool. Shame about the *bought* (shudder) gnocchi! *LOL*

Kel said...

laura jane - Amen!

emma- see above.

katy- its soo easy and worth it too. Enjoy.

katrine - stay strong! ignore above comment, it was pretty mediocre really...

veggie- ohh yeah!, see all of above comments! Hmph- time time time- you've seen how crazy it can get!

Kerrie said...

Oh divine...

Must bookmark this one for a special meal. Actually last Tuesday evening John & I found ourselves sans children, all three were out until at least 10pm.

We decided to cook at home rather than go out, it's hard to be motivated to go out again after a full day at work. We roasted a duck with sour is our indulgence, none of the kids like/can eat it so it's something we keep just for ourselves. With some wine, peace & music it was a lovely evening.

I think this recipe may be on the menu for the next time we find ourselves alone.