Friday, February 13, 2009


I wonder how many times we are at a loss as what to cook for dinner. The cooking is not the problem, it is the deciding what's on the menu that takes up your time. Sometimes fridge leftovers make the decision for you, or a meal frozen from an earlier cooking session comes to the rescue. My problem is that I return time and time again to the old favourites. The recipes I know from memory, that I can improvise if some of the ingredients are not to hand. Also I know these dishes will be good and plates left empty. With new dishes you ar always taking a chance.

However many cook books I have on the shelf, I'm afraid to count, I still find myself in the position of wondering "what will I cook for dinner"

Last week I decided to pick recipes from books or magazines for a whole week. They had to be healthy, look good and it was to be the first time I had cooked them. I shopped accordingly over the weekend and I have to say most of them were a success. The one I am going to give the recipe for was particularly good, and yes, I can see it becoming an old favourite in the course of time.

The recipe is for GNOCCHI with SPINACH and WHITE BEANS. Serves 6

2 tbs olive oil
1 x 16oz (500g) package gnocchi
1 finely sliced yellow onion
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup water
6 cups spinach
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 15oz can white beans
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup part skimmed grated mozzarella
1/4 cop grated Parmesan

Heat 1/2 oil in large non-stick skillet over med heat. Add gnocchi and cook stirring often, until plump and starting to brown. Transfer to bowl.
Add remaining oil and onion to pan and cook for 2 mins, add garlic and water. Cover and cook for 5-6 mins until onion is soft.
Add spinach and stir until wolted. Stir in tomatoes, beans and seasoning. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi, and sprinkle with the cheeses. Cover and cook until cheese has melted, about 3 mins.

I liked the fact that it is a one pot meal, that it is easy and fast. I think I may add some herbs next time. Perhaps oregano or thyme. I was really surprised at how good the gnocchi tasted after being cooked in the olive oil. It certainly added to the dish.

This was the best of my week's menus. I must try and cook at least one new meal a week. They do say variety is the spice of life so who am I to disagree.

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