This week I had a very special guest for lunch – Louisa from Chez Foti! Based just over an hour from one another in Gascony, South West France, we both have 2 kids of very similar ages and of course, we are both passionate food bloggers! What are the odds?
Although this was not our first meeting, it was the first time I would cook for her and I must admit I felt a smidgin of pressure! It’s all very well to read each others recipes, it’s another thing entirely to cook in person. I certainly didn’t want to disappoint.
My dilemma was that whatever I chose to cook would have to be something that all our kids would to eat too. Louisa often posts wonderful family meals with photos of her kids tucking in and so I was a little nervous that my 2 picky eaters would show me up.
I had been meaning to try my hand at home made gnocchi for some time and this seemed like a pretty good time to do it. After all, surely even my kids would quite like simple, soft sweet potato dumplings? (Famous last words…)
After much consideration as to what type of sauce to serve with them, I decided on a Sauce Vierge – a very fresh chunky tomato sauce with lots of basil and garlic. And I decided to throw in some pan fried asparagus and chorizo as well. I was hoping the end result would be light, summery and bursting with sunshine flavours.
The Gnocchi were a joy to make! Really simple and quite therapeutic; rolling out the dough into long sausages and cutting into little pillows ready to be cooked when needed. I made the sauce vierge in advance also and left it to sit at room temperature to let the flavours mingle.
Once Louisa arrived, it was a fairly simple assembly job; the gnocchi cooked for a just a few minutes whilst I pan fried the thin cut chorizo and asparagus spears. I loaded up the plates and we were set to feast.
Cue my picky eating children refusing to even try it! Louisa’s lovely little ones did get stuck in though whilst my two, as usual, filled up on bread. Oh well. You can’t win them all. But on the plus side, us adults thoroughly enjoyed every bite.
Then for pud, Louisa brought some of her delicious Rhubarb Crumble Muffins which were moist, light and completely yummy! We gobbled them up with a nice cup of coffee whilst we discussed our new blogging adventure – more to come on that soon!
A really lovely, delicious and enjoyable time was had by all. Our kids happily played together and joyfully performed songs, dances and hand stands for us. I am already looking forward to the next time!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Chorizo & Sauce Vierge
Start by boiling your sweet potato & potato in a pan of boiling salted water for around 15 minutes until cooked through. Drain and push through a potato ricer or just mash until as smooth as possible. Add the flour and egg yolk, grated ginger and chilli powder. Season well and bring it all together to make a dough. You can add some more flour if you find the mixture is too sticky. Flour a work surface and your hands and take handfuls of the dough and roll out into sausages. Cut the dough into 2cm gnocchi. Set aside until ready to cook. Meanwhile, make your sauce vierge by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. When you are ready to assemble, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and pour in your gnocchi. They will need to cook for around 5 minutes and they are ready when they rise to the surface. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and pan fry your asparagus and chorizo slices until the asparagus is cooked and the chorizo has crisped up – about 5 minutes. To serve, place your gnocchi in a bowl, scatter over the asparagus & chorizo and then dollop spoonfuls of the sauce vierge around the plate. Top with some Parmesan shavings and serve.
Also, I am entering this into Made With Love Mondays hosted by Mark from Javelin Warrior’s Cooking with Luv.