BACON & PESTO GNOCCHI (serves 3)
1 red and 1 green pepper
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
300g smoked back bacon, chunkily chopped
4-5 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
500g potato gnocchi
3 heaped tsp green pesto (to taste)
3 dessertspoonfuls sweet chilli Philadelphia
1 generous handful of grated cheddar cheese.
1. If you are using your own home chargrilled peppers, some hours before you begin to make the dish, heat your grill to high and place the whole peppers under the grill. Leave them there for their skins to turn black and blister, turning them until they are completely charred. Cool for a moment, then pop into a freezer bag and seal the top. Condensation will form, which will enable their skins to be removed really easily - and they have such a gorgeous smokey taste.
2. So, place a large pan of salted water on to boil for the gnocchi.
3. While the water is heating, add the oil and the onion to a frying pan and cook gently until softened and just beginning to caramelise.
4. Add the bacon, which will cool the pan - so increase the temperature to cook the bacon until all the water has dispersed, then add the mushrooms and cook on until they have softened.
5. Add the peppers and heat them through - by which time the water should have boiled for the gnocchi, so in they go for their three minutes, or whatever the pack demands.
6. Add the pesto, Philadelphia and grated cheese to the frying pan and stir through until the cheddar has melted and the whole lot has combined. This is where you'll start getting a little bit worried about the colour. Do not despair!
7. As the gnocchi cook, lift them out with a slotted spoon, directly into the bacon mixture. Once they are all done, fold them through until everything is combined, check for seasoning and adjust if necessary - and serve.
I thoroughly recommend serving the gnocchi with a green side salad, which provides a lovely freshness to counteract the richness of the pesto and cheese. Perfect!