Lamb and Feta Gnocchi (or pasta, if it pleases you)

lambandfetagnocchi

Last night, whilst cooking sausage and mash, I was pondering (aloud) whether a chopped chilli would bring anything to the onion gravy I was planning to make. Mr Greedy took a deep breath and confronted me, with my problem. An intervention, if you will. The message was simple: Not everything you cook, Greedy Rosie, needs to have chilli in it. And I went to protest of course but then I realised he was right. I want to put chilli in everything I cook. I look back on the food on this blog and find that the majority of meals have chilli in them. My name is GreedyRosie. And I am a chilliholic.

Naturally, tonight’s tea was to have chilli in it. I think I naturally pick recipes that are likely to work well with my favourite pepper. After deciding that I was not going to add them, I started wondering about capers. There are no capers in this either.You can make your own gnocchi if you like, its not a difficult task, but I don’t have the time or energy to do it today and I certainly don’t have the time to write how. So maybe another day. This dish served 2, generously.

  • 500g gnocci
  • 500g lamb mince
  • olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • juice of one lemon
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 200g feta cheese, crumbled
  • small handful mint, roughly chopped
  • small handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper

Sweat off the onion and the garlic in around a tablespoon of olive oil over a low heat in a frying pan with some salt and pepper. It should take about 5 minutes in total. Turn the heat up and crumble the lamb mince in. Give it a quick mix round to combine the onion, garlic and mince, and then leave in the pan to brown. Once browned, mix again in the pan until throroughly browned all over.

Add your tomatoes and lemon juice and give it another quick stir, and turn the heat down to medium – low. Start cooking the gnocchi as per pack instructions (will need to simmer for 2-3 minutes). When the gnocchi is cooked, put your feta, mint and parsley in with the lamb and stir it around. Drain the gnocchi, and put in with the lamb, feta and herbs. Combine, and serve.

Advertisements

Greek(ish) Stuffed Aubergines – Farmer’s Market Wednesday

Its tough, on a rainy windy Wednesday morning, to think in a particularly mediterranean way. When the weather is like this, I just want to cook stodgy pastas and big stews, which is crazy in August. This dish is still fairly autumnal, probably, but I have tried to incorporate some sunny flavours in an attempt to lift my spirits. I’ve made far too much stuffing for aubergine for 2, which was my intention, so we’ll say this serves 4.

  • 2 large aubergine, or 4 small ones, split down the middle
  • 500g lamb mince
  • splash olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 heaped tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme, chopped
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • glass of dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200g feta, crumbled
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 6. Put the aubergine on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. When the oven is hot, put your aubergine in on the middle shelf and cook for about half an hour. You’re probably not looking to cook the aubergines all the way through, but the problem that you have with aubergine, is that there is no natural cavity, and its slightly beyond someone as clumsy as me to carve out the flesh when its completely raw without cutting through the skin. So yeah, bake for half an hour or so and then leave to cool slightly.

In a hot frying pan, brown the minced lamb. Depending on how fatty your mince is – and it ranges from roughly 15% to 25% fat – you may need to drain the oil away during the frying process, or your lamb may boil, rather than brown. When its browned all over, remove from the pan and drain off any remaining fat. In the same pan, add your thyme, half the oregano, the onion and the garlic, the cumin seeds, salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onion is cooked through. Add your mushrooms and cook them for a few minutes, stirring until all your ingredients are combined. Add the drained lamb, mix again. Then put in your wine and tomato puree.

Get your cooked aubergine half and cut into it, leaving a roughly 1 cm border around the edge.. You should be able to scoop out the flesh with a spoon now, but might need a little help with a sharp knife. Chop the aubergine flesh finely and add that as well. Bring to a simmer, and then put the lid on and cook for 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Turn of the heat and add the remaining oregano and the parsley, and the lemon juice. Stir well.

Heap the lamb mixture evenly in the scooped out aubergine halves, and be prepared to pack it down a bit with your fingers. Crumble the feta over and putĀ  them back in your hot oven, for a further 20 minutes – half hour until piping hot all the way through. Serve with something plain like riceĀ  to balance out the salty spiciness or something a bit more toothsome like tomato, herb and couscous salad. Scoff.