Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Gnocchi provencale.

Here's another old favourite pasta sauce that I brew up every now and then when I feel like something hearty. I made this last Saturday night, feeling hungry after a day outdoors in the elements. I prefer this sauce with gnocchi (the packaged stuff is fine but home-made gnocchi is heaven on earth). I used packaged gnocchi, too tired to do home-made.

Saute a chopped onion in olive oil, toss in a clove of garlic, chopped, scored, smashed, whatever; now add half a chopped red or green pepper or both, a dozen or so fat black olives (be sure to pit them or someone will break a tooth), a dozen or so walnut halves, 6 or so chopped button mushrooms, a can of diced tomatoes, half a cup of white wine, some chopped parsley and a chopped chile (optional).

It's such a robust recipe you can pretty much toss everything in together. It cooks in minutes if you need a quick fix but it improves overnight.

Throw your gnocchi in boiling salted water and when they rise, drain, spoon over the crunchy, nutty, tomatoey sauce and scatter lots of lovely grated parmesan over the top.

Glass of red, please.

(Vegetarians love this because it is such a robust dish with so many flavour and texture contrasts.)

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