In my capacity as a self-confessed potato anorak, I’m not entirely sure that I should admit to the following, but I see that I am going to have to come clean and reveal to the world (or to you lot, at least) the embarrassing truth.
The fact of the matter is that, until this weekend, I’d never, ever made gnocchi.
[cue momentary pause while this information sinks in]
As far as my potato repertoire went, lack of gnocchi experience had been sitting squarely in the glaring omissions category for the longest time. There was really nothing to do but face the fact and give these Italian potato dumplings a much belated whirl. And it seemed like the least I could do to make up for their much-delayed debut was to see to it that they would be washed down with some proper Italian wines. Following our most enjoyable French excursion, the guys at Curious Wines were happy to oblige with recommendations and samples for same. Things were looking good for the gnocchi launch.
There you are my little dumpling
What? No pasta?
It was a somewhat shocking realisation. Reeni’s recent post on pasta as her muse alerted me to the fact that pasta has not gotten so much as a look in here at The Daily Spud. I count precisely one passing mention of that most Italian of foodstuffs since this little blog started. What’s with that, exactly? It’s not like I don’t like it or anything.
Come in, linguine, you are welcome here
Farinata: a savoury Italian delight
So I’ve developed a little obsession with just what is possible with gluten-free flours of late. Happily, this brought to mind a recipe I came across a few years ago in Is There A Nutmeg In The House, a collection of writings by the wonderful Elizabeth David. The recipe was for farinata, an Italian dish made with gram flour (aka chickpea flour) and really very little else (water, salt and olive oil to be precise). The first time I made it, I was a bit sceptical about so few ingredients amounting to much, but it transpired that less, in this case, was most definitely more. The result was a very tasty and versatile little number that you could eat as a snack on its own or use much as you would slices of that other great gluten-free accompaniment, polenta . Of course, it’s got a different texture to polenta and its own distinctive flavour, but it certainly makes for a worthy alternative.