I was all ready to do some moules marinières with cream and cider tonight (see, see what I did there…) and then, ha, Waitrose had sold out of mussels. Now, I know I live in Islington but we’re talking N7 here, not N1; what were the good burghers of Holloway doing with all those molluscs on a Thursday, a school night?! Whatever they were doing, they had left none for me which meant I was wandering the aisles at 7.15pm, short of inspiration and very aware of the irony that I kept thinking wtf do I… But, aha, there is never a shortage of reading material in supermarkets these days and there, in the freebie newspaper, which is usually full of completely naff recipes, was not only a lovely idea but one that was purchase-free: I could make it by using up yet more stuff in the fridge. Of course, I did buy a few things, essentials, you know, chocolate, Haribo, speculoos biscuits…
I tweaked this recipe quite a bit because there was no way I was turning on the oven for half an onion and a bit of butternut squash. I just made it simpler and faster and if you haven’t tried blue cheese, squash and caramelised onion together (you can make a wonderful salad by roasting some squash, slow-frying a peeled and sliced red onion in butter then tossing with cubes of blue cheese and maybe a bit of thyme) then this is a great introduction. Tastes amazing and, hurrah, my fridge is starting to look wonderfully empty at last.
Gnocchi with butternut squash, caramelised onion, blue cheese and cream (adapted from Waitrose Weekend)
For two portions you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have):
olive oil, a splash
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small red onion
butternut squash, 250g (when peeled and deseeded)
gnocchi, 300g (most bags are 500g; they freeze well), or use 50-70g pasta per person if you prefer
crème fraîche or fresh cream, 75ml
blue cheese, 40g
1. Peel and deseed the squash, then cut it into small pieces. Steam it for about five minutes until tender in a pan big enough to hold the gnocchi (I’m trying to keep the washing up down here…).
2. Whilst the squash is cooking, peel, half and slice the onion and fry it gently in a little butter or olive oil until soft and golden. Take it off the heat.
3. When the squash is done mix it with the onion and leave on one side whilst you cook the gnocchi.
4. Put boiling water into the now-empty squash saucepan and, when bubbling, tip in the gnocchi. As soon as they float to the surface (about two minutes) they’re done. Drain them, tip them back into the saucepan and stir in the cream, cheese and vegetables. Season and serve.