Aubergine and Nduja Gnocchi
Possibly the cosiest, winteringest, comforting of winter suppers yet! Tummy warming gnocchi, velvety aubergine, spicy sausage and creamy marscapone with a zing of festive orange makes the shoulders drop and inspires a few minutes of me time in what can be a very hectic month of the year.
So simple to cook and so delicious to eat. Take half an hour off the decorating and Christmas feast prep and cook this hearty heart warming meal, sit down (this is the perfect in front of Strictly lap food) and breathe in the delicious aromas before treating your possibly over Baileysed tongue to some comfort and joy.
Rose uses a fancy schmancy ingredient called Nduja which is a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from the region of Calabria, in Southern Italy. My last minute dash to the shops yesterday was a little no room at the inn “huh!?” “Say that again” “never heard of it” “not here” “try the shop in next village”. I settled for supermarket Chorizo sausages which broke up in the same way in the pan and were utterly delicious.
This time of year it feels like ages since we all sat in the garden with fresh tomato and Basil dishes, and this is a way of bringing that sunshiney taste in but with some seriously indulgent winter cosy vibes.
Aubergine and Nduja Gnocchi
●1 tablespoon Nduja (and a little more to garnish) Rose used one from Duchy charcuterie (I used two chorizo sausages
●1 tsp fennel seeds
●1 Aubergine chopped into 1cm peices
●200g cherry tomatoes halved
●1 tbsp mascarpone (if you want it creamy, but you absolutely can leave this out)
●Juice and zest of 1 clementine/satsuma/small orange
●Salt and pepper
●1 pack Gnocchi (or make your own, see Rose’s Instagram page for the recipe)
●Basil leaves ⬇️
Start by heating a little olive oil in a non-stick pan, AND getting a separate pot of water onto boil for the Gnocchi.
Fry the diced aubergine in the oil with a good grind of salt. Add the fennel seeds. Once the dry matt, colour of the aubergine has turned a glossy (basically absorbed the oil), add the Ndjua. It will melt and turn the aubergine, a fiery red colour. Beautiful!
Now, add the juice of the Satsuma or orange, and let the aubergine caramelise a little.
Throw in the tomatoes and let them soften and “smoosh” down with the aubergine.
Put your gnocchi into the boiling water with plenty of salt for a couple of minutes until they float to the surface. This means they are cooked. Make sure that you keep some of the water when draining.
Transfer the gnocchi to the pan of aubergine with a ladle of the gnocchi water.
Toss and add the zest, Parmesan and black pepper and a spoonful of mascarpone.
Toss until everything is combined and silky. If the source is too thick, add a little more of the gnocchi water.
Serve on top of the bed of fresh spinach, with a few flecks of Nduja, a little drop of mascarpone and basil leaves if you have them.