Thea's Whin Yeats Gnocchi (kinda) alla Sorrentina

Thea Everett is a former Neal's Yard Dairy cheesemonger whose staff lunches are still talked about with reverence. Pasties, curries and focaccias are amongst the treats that Thea managed to whip up in just a few hours in our office kitchen, feeding the 40 or so of us that work across our site. Her food is delicious, hearty anD unpretentious. You can find Thea's recipes on her blog What's That You're Cooking, Thea? and subscribe to get bonus recipes and content. 

"Here I've recreated a kind of British version of gnocchi alla Sorrentina, featuring woody herbs and acidic cheese in place of the usual basil and mozzarella. The sliced onions and chillies add texture, sweetness and heat. But the star of the show is the Whin Yeats Wensleydale: it takes on a kind of Cheddar Curd stretchiness when it melts which works wonderfully here, with its milky flavour mimicking mozzarella, but with even more interest."

INGREDIENTS

70ml olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, washed
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 large red chilli, sliced (remove the seeds if you prefer things less spicy)
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tin of tomatoes
1 pack gnocchi
200g Whin Yeats Wensleydale, cut into 7-8 slices ½ cm thick


  

METHOD

1. Add the olive oil into your smallest saucepan on your lowest ring. When hot, add the just-washed rosemary (still wet) to the pan. Carefully hold the pan to one side so the oil completely submerges the rosemary sprig (this stops it splattering) then cook for one minute until the leaves are crisping but not browned. Turn off the heat.

2. Add the infused oil to a heavy bottom pot (saving a few sprigs for garnish) and add your sliced onion and a pinch of salt. Cook on a medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then add your sliced chillies and cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add your sliced clove of garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

3. Now deglaze the pan with a splash of red or white wine if you have it. If not, don't worry, just add a splash of water! Add the tin of tomatoes and clean out the tin with water (approx. 100ml) and add that. Season with plenty of black pepper. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.

4. When it has reduced a little, pour the sauce into a deep-sided baking dish. In the same saucepan, add boiling water and a little salt, then add your gnocchi and boil for 2 minutes. Use a spider or slotted spoon to transport the gnocchi from the pan to the sauce in the baking dish. Stir well to coat, then add the Whin Yeats Wensleydale, in slices, poking a third of the cheese underneath the surface, and placing the rest on top of the gnocchi so you have a couple of layers.

5. Bake at 200°c for 12 minutes! Garnish with a few crispy rosemary sprigs