canterbury’s own lifestyle magazine / a great local read

Cheats Gnocchi with Pumpkin 
and Prosciutto Butter Sauce

(Pictured above)

Serves 4
Prep 15 mins
Cooking 10 mins
Gluten-Free

This recipe was born from a family of campers that love good food. The dehydrated potato was a genius play by my mum and makes gnocchi at home so simple! The cheapest prosciutto is the offcuts, usually hidden away in the cheese shelf or asked for at the deli; these chunks of flavour are perfect for a rustic dish like this. See my tip for using the baking paper when making the gnocchi. By making the gnocchi on a piece of baking paper we won’t be over-handling our soft potato pillows.

Prosciutto Butter Sauce

  • 150 g prosciutto offcut pieces, cut into lardons (a good substitute is bacon or speck)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 120 g salted butter
  • 1 bunch oregano, sprigs picked
  • 1½ cups coarsely grated pumpkin 
(I used a New Zealand butterkin)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cups (60 g) spinach leaves shaved Manchego (sub with Parmesan or Grana Padano) to serve

Cheats Gnocchi

  • 2 cups (100 g) dehydrated potato flakes (used to make mashed potato, found in a packet in the canned vegetable section at your supermarket)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup gluten-free flour, plus extra for dusting

Place prosciutto and oil in a frypan and cook, from cold, until prosciutto starts to sizzle. Then cook for a further 4 minutes or until prosciutto is golden. Add butter and once melted add oregano and pumpkin and cook, breaking up pumpkin with a wooden spoon, for 4 minutes or until butter is golden brown and pumpkin has softened and is tender. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and stand until required.

To make the cheats gnocchi, combine dehydrated potato and 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water in a large bowl and mix to combine. Stand to cool. Add egg and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix to combine. (I like to use my hands to do this.) Add flour and incorporate into dough gently until it forms a ball. Work the dough like you would a scone dough, mixture might seem dry at first but with each fold it should come together. Divide into 4 pieces, then roll each piece into a 2 cm thick sausage. Transfer to a piece of baking paper and cut into 2 cm pieces. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Use the baking paper to lift gnocchi and add to boiling water to cook for 1–2 minutes or until gnocchi float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to prepared sauce. Cook sauce and gnocchi over high heat for 1 minute or until warmed through. Add spinach and stir through to warm and wilt slightly.

Divide gnocchi among serving bowls and scatter with shaved Manchego to serve.

One-Pan Bolognese

Cheats One Pan Bolognese

Serves 4
Prep 5 mins
Cooking 20 mins

This one-pan wonder will have you asking how you will ever cook Bolognese any other way. Keeping the ingredients simple means you can put your own spin on the recipe and make it your own. Some mushrooms? Maybe parsley instead of basil?

  • 400 g fresh lasagne sheets (I used egg-based)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 400 g good-quality pork or Italian sausages, casing removed
  • 1 piece Parmesan, rind removed and reserved
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked, stems thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 800 g canned cherry tomatoes

Cut lasagne sheets into 2 cm thick slices. Place oil, sausage meat, Parmesan rind and fennel seeds in a large wide deep-sided saucepan. Cook from cold over medium-high heat until it starts to sizzle then cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, for 6 minutes or until mince is browned.

Add basil stems and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 3 minutes or until garlic is golden. Add tomatoes and 2 can-fulls (800 ml) of water. Bring mixture to the boil and add cut lasagne sheets. Return to the boil then cover and cook for 5 minutes or until pasta is softened slightly. Remove lid and cook, stirring frequently for a further 4–5 minutes or until pasta is al dente and Bolognese is rich and coating the pasta.

Finely grate 1 cup of Parmesan. Add to pasta and stir through until combined. Stand for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.

To serve, divide between bowls and scatter with basil leaves, cracked pepper and extra Parmesan to finish.

Green-Beet Pesto Rigatoni

Green Beet Pesto Rigatoni

Serves 4
Prep 10 mins
Cooking 10 mins

There is nothing worse than making your own pesto only for it to go brown 10 seconds later. This mixture will store in the fridge and stay green for up to one week.

  • 1 bunch basil, leaves picked (35 g)
  • 1 bunch silver beet
  • 3 garlic cloves, skins removed
  • 50 g Parmesan
  • ¼ cup (40 g) pepitas
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 400 g dried rigatoni

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add basil and silver beet leaves (not stems) and cook for 20 seconds or until wilted. Remove with tongs and refresh in iced water to cool. Remove and dry well on paper towel. Transfer to a blender or small food processor with garlic, Parmesan, pepitas, zest, juice and olive oil and whiz until bright green and smooth.

Finely slice silver beet stems. Return water to the boil, add pasta and cook according to pasta packet instructions. Add the silver beet stems in the last minute of cooking. Strain pasta and stems reserving ½ cup of pasta liquid and refresh under cold water. Return pasta and stems to saucepan and add half the pesto. Stir well to coat, adding pasta water and more pesto as needed to create a well coating sauce.

Serve rigatoni drizzled with extra olive oil and scattered with extra grated lemon zest and freshly cracked pepper. Serve remaining pesto alongside for guests to add extra as they wish.

Zesty Linguine and New Zealand Clams

Zesty Linguine and New Zealand Clams

Serves 4
Prep 5 mins
Cooking 15 mins

Where there is pasta there must be seafood. The clams in this dish not only add a beautiful flavour but also create one of my favourite food sounds. You’ll be taken straight to the ocean when you listen to the pasta being tossed in the pan with the cooked clams and coated in the sauce. A crackle of sorts, that makes me love cooking with shellfish even more. But I understand there’s a few non-seafooders out there, so feel free to take the clams out altogether for a clean zesty pasta dish.

  • 200 g sourdough bread, cut into small pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1–2 tsp chilli flakes, depending on level of heat you like (optional)
  • shredded zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra zest to serve
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine (a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc worked perfectly here)
  • 1 kg frozen or fresh New Zealand clams
  • 400 g dried linguine
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 20 g butter

Place sourdough and garlic in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add sourdough and cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until golden and crunchy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl with chilli flakes and lemon zest. Add 1 cup of wine to uncleaned pan and return to high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes to reduce liquid by two-thirds. Add clams and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 7 minutes or until clams have opened. Discard any un-opened clams.

Meanwhile cook pasta as per packet instructions. (I like to go 2 minutes under what the packet says to keep it al dente when it’s added to the clams.)

Strain pasta reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add pasta, parsley and butter to clams and stir through to coat, adding pasta water as you need it. Stir through 1 cup sourdough crumb mixture and season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with remaining sourdough mixture alongside and extra lemon zest scattered over to finish. 

Samantha Parish

About Samantha Parish

Samantha Parish is latitude’s newest contributor and brings withher a wealth of knowledge and experience, with over eight years of working as a freelance chef and recipe writer in Australia and New Zealand. Sam’s food ethos is MOF MOF: Maximum of flavour, minimum of fuss, producing beautiful recipes that show off how smart you can cook when you cook simply.

For more information, visit Mofmof.space

Images Charlie Jackson