Sunday, November 28, 2010

Easy Summer Dinner

This weekend has been spectacular in Wellington - sunny, barely any wind, and scores of people stripping down to their underwear (or for those who are actually prepared, togs) and leaping into the harbour. Actually, seeing people gleefully leap into the sea is one of the best things about walking around the waterfront for me - it shouts of summer and being carefree and happy and even though I am not game to join the fun (that water has got to be freezing!) I like to hear the splashes and see the frantic scrambling once they hit the water and realise just how chilly it is. ;-)

The problem with summer, though, is that it becomes immensely more appealing to be out strolling by the waterfront than indoors cooking. And there are only so many nights that a sandwich can take the place of dinner. ;-) So last night as we strolled home we popped into New World and picked up four ingredients for a simple, delicious, moderately balanced five-minute dinner: gnocchi; pomodoro sauce; basil leaves; and a bottle of pear cider to share.

I'm all for cooking from scratch when it makes sense - and cost-wise it tends to work out that way most of the time. Though gnocchi is a bit too time-consuming it doesn't take very long to whip up a simple and delicious tomato sauce - but sometimes not very long is still too long!

Once the water is boiling (which I do in the jug, then pour into the saucepan as the jug is quicker and more energy efficient) the gnocchi takes less than a minute to cook. When it floats to the top you know it's ready.

We drained it, threw the sauce and the basil leaves in and gave it a bit of a stir - and once it was heated through we were good to go. Pop the top of the cider, pour into glasses, spoon dinner into bowls, sprinkle with a bit of parmesan - and there we have it! A great meal, cheaper and healthier than a takeaway in less time - without sacrificing our time outdoors. ;-)

What do you do for dinner in summer when the day's activities take precedence over food prep?


  1. Yum! I always think of gnocchi as winter comfort food, in fact I really want some right now (for breakfast would be fine)! I love making gnocchi, with potato, butternut squash or pumpkin. I usually improvise a sauce (it's usually a bottom of the fridge meal) - butter and sage, or just parmesan, or a bit of cream and tomato.

  2. Confession time here...I actually had Eton Mess for dinner tonight

    Blame it on having to use the strawberries before they melted into strawberry juice :)

  3. Sarah, gnocchi for breakfast... Yum! It is a bit wintery but was yummy all the same. :-) Mmm, butter and sage...

    Kaz, that's fantastic! I am kinda jealous, truth be told...


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