Hi Foodies, it’s Brendon D’Souza from @brendonthesmilingchef here.
It’s an honour to take part in Auguest once again this year at AMCarmen’s Kitchen. Allison and I met in Sydney a few years ago through Instagram, and then in-person at a food blogging event I hosted. Since then we’ve had countless foodie adventures together.
I started a food blog called Brendon The Smiling Chef around 2012, following the success of a recipe column of the same name. I wrote, styled, and photographed the recipes of my favourite dishes and reviewed some of my favourite restaurants and cafes. The blog continued to run until around 2016. I then focused on photography and a few other passions, worked for tech startups like Deliveroo and Tix and eventually landed a role at a global workspace provider. Earlier this year I launched my photography business Sydney Food Photography. I’ve been lucky to collaborate with some amazing brands like Samsung, OzHarvest and more.
When I received the theme for this year, I knew I wanted to take a playful twist on the definition of fruit. Potatoes are called pomme de terre in French which could literally translate to ‘apple of the earth’ and peppers (or capsicums as we call them in Australia), are also technically a fruit of the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Gnocchi are delightful potato dumplings made with a few simple ingredients. They are one of my favourite comfort food this winter and pair very well with a tangy roasted pepper sauce.
PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS | SERVES 6
For the gnocchi
- 500g potatoes, skin on
- 200g plain flour + extra
- 1 free-range egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the peppers
- 1 large red pepper, sliced
- 1 large yellow pepper, sliced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil + extra
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
- Handful chopped parsley
- Grated Grana Padano or other hard Italian cheese, to serve
- Preparing the Potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until cooked through. A knife should glide through the potato when it’s cooked. Remove from the heat and drain. Cover the potatoes with cold water and set aside to cool.
- Roasted Peppers: Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan forced. Toss the peppers with a little olive oil and garlic slices. Spread in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast for 20-25 minutes until the peppers have softened and start to caramelise around the edges. You may need to stir the peppers in the pan while roasting. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Potato Gnocchi: Once the potatoes have cooled, peel and then mash. Add the 200g of flour, egg yolk, salt and pepper and mix with a wooden spoon to form a pliable dough. If the mixture looks a little sticky, add more flour until it forms a ball. It will look and feel like play dough.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Sprinkle a chopping board with some extra flour. Divide the dough into quarters and roll to form a 1.5cm thick sausage. Cut the sausage into 1cm thick slices with a sharp knife dipped in some cold water. This helps to prevent the dough from sticking. I like to make my gnocchi a little rough and leave them as discs.
- Cook the gnocchi in small batches for 2-3 minutes. They will float to the surface when they have cooked through. Remove to large heatproof bowl and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Add the roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, and parsley to the gnocchi and toss to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and grated Grana Padano to serve and enjoy!
Optional extra: I love the taste and texture of pan-fried gnocchi. To do so, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil. When hot, add the gnocchi in batches and sauté until golden brown.
Check out my foodie adventures on Instagram at @brendonthesmilingchef
Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2019 | Brendon D’Souza
– Brendon D’Souza