Jamie’s Comfort Food Jamie Oliver

Serves 6-8

I love Jamie Oliver, particularly his passion around food and kids. Before this new book was released, there were several blog posts with recipes and they looked fantastic.  I personally love comfort foods, so I pre-ordered this one a while ago.  It arrived last Friday, and Sunday I jumped right in.  Gnocchi is one of my favorite foods and really this recipe was quite simple.  I baked the potatoes while I was doing other things earlier in the evening and rather than peeling, seeding and cooking the butternut on the stove top I just put it in the oven whole and baked it until soft.  Not sure how much of a difference that made in the taste, but it made the meal much quicker to prepare, and in the end it was delicious!  I also added a touch of cream to the sauce.  Also, I halved the recipe, and it was easily enough for 3, if not 4 people.

3 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
2 large Egg Yolks
5 oz all purpose Flour
1 Nutmeg, for grating
1 Butternut Squash
4 cloves of Garlic
1 fresh Red Chili (I used dried chili flakes)
4 sprigs fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil
1 vegetable Stock Cube (I used the chicken soup we ate for lunch instead of the cube and water, kind of think that straight water would be better)
Parmesan Cheese
2 cups of Water

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Wash the potatoes, place in a large baking tray and bake for 1 hour, or until cooked through.  Allow to cool slightly, then cut them in half and scrape out all of the soft potato from the center.  Mash the potatoes really well and put aside. (I peeled them when they were cool and used a food mill.)

For the sauce, peel the squash, and carefully cut it in half lengthways and de-seed. Then slice very thin.  Peel the garlic, then finely chop it with the chili and rosemary leaves and put into a large casserole pan on a medium heat with a glug of oil to fry for 1 minute.  Simmer with the lid on for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the squash breaks up and you have a lovely thick sauce consistency, stirring occasionally. Then season to perfect. 

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water onto boil.  Pile your mash on a large board and make a well in the center.  Add the yolks and flour to the well with a good pinch of sea salt, finely grate over a quarter of the nutmeg, then use your hands to gently fold and mix it all together.  Don’t over work it or you’ll need to add extra flour.  Cut into 4 equal portions, roll out each portion into  1” thick logs, then cut into 2”lengths, dusting very lightly with flour as you go.  You can either run them down a fork to create grooves that will pick up extra sauce.  Gnocchi only takes 2 minutes to cook in boiling water - simply wait for the gnocchi to float to the surface.  I like to cook two portion batches at a time, to ensure the gnocchi don’t bash each other up, so transfer a quarter of the sauce to a small pan on a low heat, then use a slotted spoon to scoop the gnocchi straight from the water into the pan with a grating of parmesan.  Gently toss together, loosening with a little cooking water, if needed.  Divide between warm bowls, grate over a little more Parmesan, and serve right away while you get on with the next batch.  

I would suggest washing and chopping your arugula, portion it out into the bowls and put the hot gnocchi and sauce right on top.  I think the contrast in flavors would go very nicely.