Having lived in Melbourne for a while, I’d become used to the fact that a decent gnocchi was a tram-ride or a short walk away. Now having been in small-town England for a while, this is no longer true. I have to make what I want in my kitchen with what I can find here. It’snot too bad and thanks to food giants like Tesco, raw ingredients are easy to come by.
I came across this recipe one evening. I’d returned home from work as usual and my partner was going to be slightly late coming home so I thought “Why not make something a little more time-consuming?”. I can’t say I’ve eaten a gnocchi since I left Melbourne so I decided to query my fellow word-pressers for a recipe. Silvia’s recipe looked simple, achievable and tasty and that’ s exactly what it turned out to be. I passed it on to a colleague at work and I know she enjoyed it too.
When we were on holiday in France, I saw that we had potatoes and some parsley. It was very easy to find some dry white wine and a can of tomatoes and voilà, dinner was sorted for that evening. Where we were wasn’t parmesan territory so we used the same yummy sheep’s cheese as I did in the Summer spaghetti recipe. My partner’s mum made the sauce and I the gnocchi.
The Italian risotto is something I didn’t make in my kitchen for a while after I started cooking. I’d usually pay money to eat it as it was one of those things that I didn’t cook in my kitchen. Once, in the small town of Palmerston North, New Zealand, in a “fancy” restaurant, I had a roast vegetable risotto. The rice was half-raw (no, not al dente) and I got put off the taste for a while. A little later, a friend made a spinach-pesto risotto that was so rich, I was ill the next day. Once again, I was put off risotto for a while. A few months later, another friend of mine made a very nice roast vegetable risotto with pesto and I thought I’d put it back on my list of things I like to eat. Clearly, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with this dish.
In the first year of my PhD, I met a postdoctoral fellow whose husband was a chef. One day, she gave me his recipe for a mushroom risotto (he is also a mushroom grower by hobby) while chatting over lunch. I soon tried it and ever since I tried it, I’ve been in love with it. I make modifications in terms of what veges I add but the basic recipe is always the same. I have also taught my partner to make it who has extraordinary patience for stirring the risotto after each addition of stock. As a result, his risottos are always better than mine. The recipe here is for a red and yellow capsicum, zucchini and brown mushroom risotto. To spice it I use pepper, lemon rind and lemon juice. We loved it and hope you do too.