The outside of our fridge is covered in paper – shopping lists, menus, recipes, the payment schedule for our childminder, old letters from my father – all held in place with magnetic photographs of my godchildren. Earlier this month one of my neighbours commented that he could spend most of the evening ‘exploring the outside of the fridge’. Knowing exactly what I’ve pinned there means the contents on the front come as no surprise, however the same cannot be said for what’s inside.
I can’t bear to throw anything away. Every last egg white, drop of sauce, handful of pasta is carefully packed into a plastic container or three, stacked neatly on a shelf and promptly forgotten about as the next set of leftovers are placed in front. At least once a week the fridge is packed so full something falls out when its opened (two days ago I was hit in the face by sour cream and the least said about that the better) – time to start working back through the layers like an archaeologist at a dig, matching containers together in the hope of finding a full meal.
This creation is the fruits of the latest clear out (following the sour cream incident). Two half full bags of gnocchi (two??), half a carton of passata, half a bag of spinach, three or four ends of cheese, some very raggy looking button mushrooms and ten chipolata sausages. Add some seasoning and this is a bit of a deconstructed pizza with gnocchi rather than dough.
Normally I’d just pop this under the grill for a few minutes to brown the cheese however what with one thing and another I put it together yesterday and baked it today. Comfort food as its still a little grim up north!
- 375g sausages (12 chipolatas)
- 200g button mushrooms
- 200g passata
- 1-2 tsp dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- 250g spinach
- 750g gnocchi
- a handful of grated cheese
- Cook the sausages however you like (I put mine in the oven at 190 degrees C for half an hour or so), chop them into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
- Cook the mushrooms however you like (gently fried in butter for me) and set aside with the sausages.
- Heat the passata in a large pan; add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the spinach, it will wilt in the warm passata. (Alternatively, cool the spinach in a little water, squeeze out the excess liquid and chop finely before adding it to the passata.)
- Stir in the sausages and mushrooms.
- Cook the gnocchi according to the packet instructions, drain well and stir into the sauce. Mix well.
- Tip everything into a baking dish and cover with grated cheese.
- Pop under a hot grill for three to four minutes, or if preparing in advance, pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees C and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling.