We had a bit of a disjointed weekend this weekend - or should I say hectic. I was watching one of "The Darlings" compete at an athletics carnival all day Friday and then we flew to Byron Bay for the weekend to celebrate a milestone birthday in the family. So, not a lot was prepared in the food department this weekend, and not a lot of preparation (read grocery shopping) was done either!
Needless to say yesterday, although feeling a little wiped out from the weekend, I decided that a little time in the kitchen would fix that. I had one of "The Dalrings" home yesterday - he too was wiped out!! I asked him what he would like for dinner, and the response was gnocchi!! What should I do - the usual spag bol type thing, or something creamy???? I had the gnocchi already, and most of the things to add whichever way I went - just needed to decide on the meat. After wandering aimlessly in the meat department I stumbled upon these..
They were on special too - 2 packs for $8.00!! Bargain. So it was decided Gnocchi with meatballs.
This is the quantity that I made - it made a lot - enough for 6 with leftovers!!
Gnocchi with Meatballs
2 x 500g packets of sausages of choice
1 x 500g bottle of good quality pasta sauce
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 x onion, finely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
150g bacon, diced
1 large zucchini, quartered, then cut into chunks
3/4 cup of frozen peas
2 x 500g packets gnocchi (shelf kind or fresh)
150g grated cheese
100g grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Make a small cut in the end of the sausages, and squeeze out small amounts to make little meatballs. Gently fry in a non stick frying pan over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from pan, and place on a plate that has been lined with a paper towel to remove any excess fat. Repeat with remaining sausages, until all cooked.
Now cook the onion, bacon, garlic for approximately 3 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften, now add the zucchini and peas and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the zucchini starts to soften, and the peas are no longer frozen.
Add the pasta sauce, tomatoes, and the sausages. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, and any salt if needed.
Cook the gnocchi according to directions on the packet. Drain.
Place the sausage, tomato mixture into a large ovenproof dish. Cover with the gnocchi, then top with the grated cheeses. Bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the golden on top.
There you have it a really easy meal. Of course "The Darlings" picked out the green things - but oh well, such is life!!! I am resigned to the fact that they will never eat a green thing!!!
And for dessert ........
Brown Bread Ice Cream
2 litres of good quality vanilla ice cream
150g fresh brown/wholemeal bread (approx 3 slices)
150g brown sugar
50g caster sugar
Leave the ice cream out of the freezer for approximately 30 minutes, depending on weather - or until/ soft enough to incorporate mixture with a spoon.
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Process the bread into breadcrumbs. Lay out on the baking paper. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the breadcrumbs, making sure that there is sugar all over the crumbs.
Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the sugar starts to caramelise. Now be very careful here - it may take a little longer - but once the sugar starts to caramelise it turns very fast. Mine actually "caught" around the edges - but that's ok - just take the middle bits - there are heaps of crumbs!
Allow the crumbs to cool. Break apart into small chunks. Place the ice cream into a large bowl, and carefully incorporate the crumbs into the ice cream, working fast so that you don't end up with a sloppy milk mixture!!
Put the ice cream back into the container, and freeze for several hours (at least 6).
Serve with fresh strawberries.
You really must try this. It doesn't taste anything like what you think it will. The brown bread turns into crunchy toffee - and unless you are told, you would probably never guess it was actually bread in there!!