I have become obsessed with roasting my meals of a weekend. I’ve got a bit more time on my hands than during the week but I don’t always want to stand watch over a bubbling pan. Pretty much anything you can cook on the hob can be chucked in the oven.
What I love about the roasting method is the effortless ease with which you prepare your meal: a bit of chopping, chucking of ingredients into tin then closing the oven door and toddling off to do something more interesting…painting a masterpiece / solving climate change / sipping an aperitif. And what’s more, the flavours become deeper, richer and the whole dish is resultingly more satisfying. Give it a whirl, you won’t look back.
Herby Roasted Gnocci with Broccoli & Tomatoes
Serves 4 – 5
- 2 x 500g bags of gnocci
- 1 large head of broccoli, chopped
- A punnet of cherry tomatoes
- About a tablespoon of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- A heaped teaspoon of dried oregano
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely grated
- 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (I love aleppo or pul biber)
- 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to your taste
- A few dollops of excellent pesto
- A few small dollops of full fat cream cheese, or ricotta if you prefer
- A generous grating of parmesan cheese
- First of all preheat your oven to 200 C / gas 7.
- Pour your gnocci into a pan and cover with boiling water. Leave it to stand for just a couple of minutes then drain immediately.
- Now tumble the gnocci, broccoli, tomatoes, herbs, garlic, chilli. olive oil, salt and pepper into a large roasting tin and give it a good toss so that everything is coated in the herbs and chilli.
- Pop the tin in the oven and roast for about half an hour, by which time the gnocci will have developed some beautiful crispy bits and will be golden in colour.
- Before serving, dollop over the pesto and cream cheese. Have a little taste and if you think it needs it add more salt, pepper or chilli flakes.
- Dive in.