Yesterday (30th April) was the 10-year anniversary of the iconic and always quotable click flick Mean Girls. I cannot even begin my obsession over this movie (okay, I’m not that obsessed, I just love it so much that I can quote it all day long). Leading up to this day, I planned a Mean Girls themed party and since its anniversary fell on a Wednesday, we had to bring in a pink dish to share, and of course wear pink as to quote Karen Smith, “On Wednesdays we wear pink”. If you want to skip ahead to the recipe, scroll down, otherwise enjoy reading about my DIY Mean Girls shirt:
I was initially going to buy a shirt off eBay but it was a bit too expensive – well that was one of the reasons, the other reasons were the font not being right, not the right shade of pink, etc. Yes, the designer in me kicked in. And then I thought, yeah I’m a designer, why not I just make my own t-shirt? And so I did! I bought a pink tank top from Esprit and can I just say what a snatch! Originally priced at $14.95 and was down to $7.95 – and then a further 50% off from that price! With the help of my lovely friend Tara who does textiles as one of her majors for her degree, she taught me how to screen print using the photo-emulsion technique. Yeap, making my own screen printed shirt was the way to go, literally costed me less than $5 but a bit of time and effort. At least it was something that I am happy with and it turned out so great! “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!”
So for the pink dish that I made to share with everyone, I made Beetroot Gnocchi. I’ve never made gnocchi before so I was a bit nervous as I didn’t want to screw up and have nothing for my guests to eat, but as always, beginner’s luck was on my side once again. They turned out really well and I would like to say that they taste really good (and I’m sure they do), I’m just not a very big fan of beetroot. It’s just something about the taste of it that I can’t really put my finger on. But as I said, I’m sure they would be so fetch for beetroot lovers.
PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 5-6
For the beetroot purée
- 1 bunch beetroot, cleaned and scrubbed (if the greens are still attached, cut them off, wash them, and reserve them for another use such as for salads)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
For the beetroot gnocchi dough
- 3/4 cup roasted beetroot purée
- 2 cups plain flour, divided
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- Rosemary sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 250C. Place the beets in a large piece of aluminium foil. Coat the beets with the olive oil and sprinkle rosemary leaves over. Feel free to use plenty of olive oil as we will then use the beet-infused oil to dress the gnocchi. Fold the foil over and crimp the sides closed. This helps keep the beets moist, and also contains all the juices. Place in the oven and roast until tender. Smaller beets take about 25 minutes while larger and older beets can take up to an hour. You can check its tenderness by piercing a fork through them. Once done, remove the beets from the oven and set aside so that it is cool enough to handle. Once cool, you can use your fingers to to rub off the their peels. Transfer the beet-infused oil into a small bowl and reserve for later.
- Cut the beets into chunks and place them into a blender. Blend until smooth. Take 3/4 cup of the beet purée and place it into a medium bowl. If you have any extra puréed beets, place them into a container and refrigerate. You can use them for other dishes. Stir in the ricotta and parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper. Then mix in 1 & 1/2 cups of flour (the dough can be made a day ahead, just keep it refridgerated).
- Place the remaining 1/2 cup of flour in a bowl. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Scoop the dough into rounds and transfer to the bowl with flour. Then with the tinges of a fork, press down into the dough and then transfer to baking sheet.
- Working in batches, cook the gnocchi in a large pot of simmering salted water. Cook for about 2 minutes or until when the gnocchi starts to float to the surface. Cook the gnocchi for a further 1 & 1/2 minutes longer. Then, using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a serving dish. Drizzle with the beet-infused oil and top with lemon zest, a few squeezes of lemon juice and fresh rosemary leaves.
– Ally xx