Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Parma ham bake

Apologies for the blogging gap; I just didn't feel the usual enthusiasm and don't seem to have managed to cook much that could conceivably be of interest. Until tonight, when I made parma ham bake, a recipe provided by Lou on Nigella.com; she posted it last week and I wanted to try it immediately. Some recipes have that effect, particularly when they include parma ham, mozzarella and mascarpone. I had intended to make it yesterday, but when I shopped at the weekend my brain skipped past the mozzarella on the shopping list and I simply forgot it; we had Nigella's fishcakes from Nigella Bites instead, which are a failsafe store-cupboard standby.

Anyway the recipe is copied below in case anyone is interested, but to whet your appetite: it is basically gnocchi in a sauce made from tinned tomatoes, sundried tomato paste, tarragon, onion, garlic, mascarpone and breadcrumbs, and topped with parma ham and then mozzarella before being baked in a hot oven until the cheese browns. The ingredient list is enough to make you salivate; the dish itself is simply gorgeous, although my attempt wasn't incredibly visually appealing.


I would definitely make this again - I made the full amount listed below (intended for 6) and am freezing some, since Lou said it froze well. Handy for days when you don't feel much like spending time in the kitchen. I would also make it again with penne rather than gnocchi - I reckon that would work too.

I am not sure why, but baked dishes seem immensely comforting to me (lasagne being the number one comfort food, really). This is no exception. And it has parma ham on top, which goes crispy and contrasts deliciously with the creamy tomato sauce. I will look forward to defrosted leftovers, and I don't always say that.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tin chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 onion
2-4 cloves garlic
fresh white breadcrumbs
1 packet dried gnocchi
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
5 slices Parma ham

a tub mascarpone cheese
mozzarella

1. Bring a pan of water to boil and add dried gnocchi.
Wait for the dumplings to rise to the surface of the
water and then turn heat off and drain. Set aside.
2. Melt butter and onion in heavy based saucepan.
3. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent.
4. Add tinned tomatoes and 3 tbsps of sundried tomato
paste and fresh tarragon.
5. Let simmer for 5 mins or so and then add tub of
mascarpone cheese.
6. Stir until cheese has melted and you a salmon pink
emulsion.
7. Add fresh breadcrumbs and combine.
8. Add gnocchi and mix until equally distributed
through the mixture.
9. Pour the mixture into a rectangular oven dish and
place the slices of parma ham over the top.
10. Place slices of mozzarella over the top of the ham and place in a hot oven for about 30 - 40 mins or until the cheese is melted and bubbling/golden.
11. Serve with garlic bread and italian salad leaves.

6 comments:

Kelly-Jane said...

That looks delicious. You are right it couldn't be anything but good with the list if ingredients :)

You'll have to buy a new cookbook if you are in need of inspiration!!!!! (Joke - well half joking) :)

KJxx

Freya and Paul said...

This looks great, at first I thought it was a pizza because the topping as browned so beautifully! I would give this a try for sure!

Gemma said...

That does look delicious but with gnocchi I am full so quickly, I think I would have to make it with pasta instead. I had a bit of a non cooking week last week but back to it this week!

Gemma x

annauk said...

Mara, that looks simply delicious!

xx

annauk said...

Of course, I meant Kathryn, not Mara...... :-)

Am going through everyone's blogs and Mara's is next, LOL!

Kelly-Jane said...

Hi Kathryn,

I'm passing on a tag to you! Hope you'll join in.

KJxx