This is truly an expensive time of year – presents to buy, festive speciality foods to stock up on and in most cases the heating on full blast to keep out the chills (anyone else dreading the January heating bill when it comes sizzling through the post box?).
So here is an inexpensive dish to eke out the food bill – it is worthy of being classified as one of our Bariatric Bargain Busters. I calculate that it costs just 85p per regular serving! It’s a classic Italian dish most commonly eaten in Northern Italy and can quickly and easily be made with ready-made potato or polenta based gnocchi. I used a potato based one along with a passata rustica (bottled from Cirio) – it has a chunkier texture than smooth passata but you can choose whichever you prefer or have lurking in the back of the store cupboard. At it’s simplest it will also make a great ‘meatless Monday’ dish but do feel free to throw in some chopped ham, chicken or flaked fish if liked (this will also raise the protein level).
GNOCCHI AL POMODORO
low-fat cooking spray or mist
2 cloves garlic, crushed
handful of fresh basil leaves, coarsely torn
400 g/14 oz jar of passata rustica or smooth passata
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g/14 oz ready-made gnocchi
20 g/1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Generously spritz a non-stick pan with low-fat cooking spray or mist. Heat, add the garlic and cook until golden. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. When cool, add the basil and mix well.
3. Add the passata rustica with salt and pepper to taste, then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened slightly.
4. Cook the gnocchi in a pan of boiling salted water, according to the packet instructions. Drain, place in a warmed serving dish, spoon over the sauce and sprinkle with the cheese to serve. Delicious served with a mixed green salad.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
V suitable for Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION: 210
Image courtesy of Cirio