The key to great gnocchi

Gnocchi with pesto

Last week I did something I have never done before.  Entering a darkened room before lunch felt unusual with only a few others present. We were the brave ones.  Bucking the trend.  Going against the grain of what most were doing before lunch on a weekday.

The feeling of this being unruly behaviour stems back 20 years; Selling books door to door in America for the Summer.  Working 80 hours a week was required for success and quit rates were high. Visiting the cinema was a way of appearing to be out working and a way of avoiding the next door! As fun as it may have been, it was apparent who passed their time watching movies and not working towards their summer paycheck!

Little did we know that life was actually pretty simple back then! As responsible adults, a working week with all the extra facets that family life brings, how does a one size fits all schedule work for the individual?

Now I know that we can't all work from home and be on flexitime; After my movie chill out, I sat in my car and watched the world go by. Cars whizzing around the roundabout, spinning off to where they needed to be. I wondered how many of those people felt that they needed to take their foot off the gas and pull over and take 5. Sometimes life can feel like groundhog day looping round the neverending roundabout.

As I shed the last of the tears I needed to shift I felt very grateful to have realised I needed some time out and had the ability to do so. Taking a little timeout can help us come back stronger, sharper, maybe even more efficient. Just a little time with a loved one without the kids can leave us feeling fulfilled. If we can work out a way to follow our internal sat nav (or intuition!) we can still get to where we need to go, literally and metaphorically. But more with a sense of calm, control and joy.

Next time you have that feeling...spend a little time with it and see what you need. It may just be 10 minutes with a cuppa in the garden or a walk in the fresh air appreciating the arrival of the Spring bulbs. If we don't look after ourselves....who else will? Lisa

Gnocchi with pesto

350g (2 medium sized) Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes (floury potatoes) Skin on
140g plain flour
1/2 egg (lightly beaten) or vegan egg replacer
Few twists of salt and pepper

  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins until they feel soft when a knife is poked through the middle (approx. 30 mins)
  2. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool for 10 minutes in a colander
  3. Peel the skins off the potatoes, and place in a bowl. Mash the potatoes with a masher or potato ricer
  4. Sieve the flour over the potatoes, salt and pepper and add the egg and mix until it's incorporated
  5. Dust the work surface with a little flour and pull the mixture onto the surface. Give a brief knead 3 times with the heel of your hand and then divide the mixture into 4 quarters
  6. Roll 1 quarter into a long sausage shape about 1cm thick. Cut at 1-inch increments on the diagonal and place the pieces in a single layer onto a tray which has been dusted lightly with flour.
  7. Repeat for the other quarters and place the tray in the fridge for half an hour
  8. Take the tray out of the fridge and with a fork, make an indentation on the cut side of the gnocchi, which should make an oval-shaped
  9. Place the 'forked' gnocchi back onto the tray and chill until ready to cook. Leaving at least half an hour (for a faster effect place for 10 mins in the freezer)
  10. Prepare a very large pan of boiling salted water. Place the gnocchi into the pan with a rolling boil (medium heat) and cook for approx. 3 minutes until the gnocchi float to the top
  11. In the meantime place 2 tablespoons of pesto into a frying pan on a low heat. When the gnocchi are cooked, drain gently in a colander and then place gently into the pesto pan and swirl the pan to coat the gnocchi
  12. If you like, add a couple of handfuls of rocket, serve with a little extra Parmesan

For a fuss free pesto I bought a high quality shop version. But you could simply make your own, or just serve with a little garlic lightly fried in butter, add some sage and grate over some Parmesan.

For more recipes and fuss free chat, remember to join the Fuss Free community on Facebook where we share and motivate each other to eat delicious food without the fuss!