Tag Archives: rocket

Rocket Gnudi- Yep I’d never heard of them either

My Mum and Dad are great at spying recipes for me to try, and when they proudly presented me with this particular Gnudi one, there was a definite hint of -I’ve-stumped-you-now in my father’s eye.  But never one to resist a challenge, I went about making some. This recipe is  from the book – Too Good To Waste by Victoria Glass.

Technically dumplings, these billowy puffs of cheese are from Tuscany originally, where ricotta replaced potato in the more common Gnocchi. Gnudi is an English-adopted Tuscan word for the Italian term “nudi” (naked), the idea being that these balls of ricotta (and sometimes spinach) are “nude ravioli”, consisting of just the tasty filling without the pasta shell. Fine with me. I’m not adverse to a bowl of nude pasta if push comes to shove.

Rocket Gnudi


150g Rocket/ or you could probably use baby spinach

250g ricotta

50g freshly grated Parmesan

1 egg, beaten

1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

250g semolina

Sage butter or tomato passata sauce to serve.


Place the rocket in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of boiling water and heat until the leaves are just wilted. Drain well, cool and chop finely.  Mix this chopped rocket together with the ricotta, parmesan, egg, nutmeg, salt and some black pepper in a bowl.


Pour the semolina into a separate shallow bowl.


Wet your hands (to prevent sticking) and roll a walnut sized piece of ricotta mixture into balls in between your palms. Then coat this in semolina, leaving it to one side in the semolina dish when you move onto the next ball.

Continue like this until all the balls are used up.  Then roll all the balls again through the semolina to make sure that they are well coated.


At this stage they need to go uncovered into the fridge for at least 48 hours. Here the gnudi will develop a skin to make them easier to cook.  They can be frozen in a container at this stage.

When you are ready to cook the gnudi, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.  Adding a few gnudi at a time to this water, you will know when they are cooked as they will start to float.  Using a slotted spoon remove the cooked gnudi to a frying pan with sizzling melted butter to finish them off.

Rocket Gnudi

Rocket Gnudi

I love them just like this, with extra parmesan, but you could throw them into a bowl of bubbling passata if you were feeling indulgent.  Whatever way you chose they are divine.








French Bean Pasta

Trying to come up with different interesting and nutritious vegetarian dishes every day for large quantities of people with limited ingredients is a challenge. And although pasta is great for numbers it’s something that you don’t want to give every meal.  But in this case it’s gorgeous.

French beans are in season at the moment. sp are the veg du jour. They are hugely versatile as they can be boiled, fried, blanched, baked, and stir fried.  I’m kind of in love with them to be honest, especially as they are easy to prepare. They are also really easy to grow.

They are thought to have originated in South and Central America where their cultivation was started around 7000 years ago. When Christopher Columbus returned from his second voyage to the New World around the year 1493, he brought the French bean to the Mediterranean region. At that time French beans were considered rare and therefore expensive but very soon became one of the most commonly used beans. They were introduced to France in the year 1597 by the Conquistadors.

French Bean Pasta


1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped or minced

500g French Bean

1 aubergine, cubed

1 courgette, cubed

200g fresh small leaf spinach

150ml Crème fraiche

Fresh herbs- usually flat leaf parsley

pasta of choice


Prepare the required quantity of french bean by topping and tailing them.  Then blanch them for 5 minutes by putting them into boiling, salted water for 6 minutes, then immediately cooling them under running cold water, or into iced water preferably. Slice into bite size pieces.

Bean Pasta

French Bean slices with the aubergine

Sauté the onion and garlic gently in the olive oil until translucent. Add the courgette and aubergine and continue to cook, stirring for about ten minutes until both of these vegetables are cooked.  Add back in the beans, and the spinach and cook until the spinach looks droopy!

French Bean Pasta

Copious amounts of vegetables!

Meanwhile cook the pasta, drain reserving about a cup of the cooking liquid or “liquor”as it’s known in the *trade* (LOL). Mix in the veggies, and the crème fraiche.  Season very well, and serve immediately. In this case I did not have spinach to hand so used rocket instead.  This makes the sauce quite highly seasoned which suits the creamy crème fraiche sauce.

french bean pasta

French bean pasta



Rocket Pesto Pasta Recipe

Rocket is one of my favourite salad leaves to use.  Very delicate with a powerful peppery punch.  Arugula as it is sometimes known as- is rich in Vitamin C and Potassium.  All parts of the plant can be eaten, but the leaves are the most popular. With tons of flavour you can feel the healthiness in the dish, also acting as a hydrator in the warm weather.

This recipe is a bit loose.  And by that I mean, there’s no quantities, as it depends on how many I’m feeding.  The general rule of thumb for the “pesto” is equal quantities of nuts, cheese and leaves.  With enough oil until you get the desired consistency.

The other essential to this dish is the Crème fraiche.  The level of acidity in the pesto needs to be balanced and cooled so to speak.  I always use Glenisk.  The quality is always spot on.


Rocket Pesto


Rocket Pesto Pasta Recipe


olive oil

Packet of rocket leaves

2 Garlic Cloves, peeled

Parmesan Cheese, Grated

Walnuts, halved

Pappardelle, or another pasta

Courgettes, approx. 3 very thinly sliced lengthways

Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons of  Crème Fraiche


In a small frying pan, toast the walnuts over moderately low heat until golden, about 
5 minutes. Finely chop 1/2 cup of the walnuts; coarsely chop the rest for garnish.  Add some oil to the pan and quickly fry off the courgette.  Remove to a plate for later.

In a food processor, pulse equal quantities of the rocket (keep some to go through the pasta at the end) the garlic, the walnuts and the cheese until finely chopped. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, and add the oil slowly.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until just cooked. Drain well and add to the pesto in the bowl. Add the courgette and toss to evenly coat. Stir 
in the lemon juice and the remaining rocket and season with salt and pepper.  Add the crème fraiche, this is a really important step as it gives the softness to the dish.  Mix well.  Transfer the pasta to a platter, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the coarsely chopped walnuts and some more grated cheese.

Rocket Pesto