The Cottage Smallholder

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Quick gnocchi, broccoli and prawn recipe


Photo: Just a little left to share

Photo: Just a little left to share

“The best way to test whether spaghetti is done is to throw it against the TV screen. If it sticks it’s done.”
Oliver was rather wild at that point and not finding a TV close to hand tossed a strand of spaghetti against the kitchen window. It stuck momentarily and then peeled off, worm like, dropping to the sill. I can’t remember what the spaghetti tasted like when it was finally served. All I can remember is that creamy worm hunched on the dark window pane.

When it comes to gnocchi there’s no need for similar shenanigans. Just drop the gnocchi into a large pan of boiling salted water. It is ready when the gnocchi floats to the top. Then all you need to do is skim the little balls off with a slotted spoon, add your sauce and start guzzling.

I always have a pack of gnocchi in the larder. It generally has a long sell by date so is perfect standby for rustling up a quick meal. This potato pasta is comforting and filling and is wonderful with prawns and spinach.

Last night I decided to team it up with home grown purple sprouting broccoli and Kale shoots  as we are deep in the heart of the PSB season. The texture of the PSB was the perfect foil for the gnocchi and much better than spinach version. If you can get hold of raw prawns (they are often marked down on the Tesco CFC*) they really add to the flavour of the sauce as they are cooked in the cream.

Quick gnocchi, broccoli and prawn recipe (for 2 greedy people)

250g of raw jumbo prawns (shrimp)
500g of gnocchi
100g of purple sprouting broccoli
250ml of double cream
1 tsp of garlic granules
Half a tsp of chilli sherry or a large pinch of cayenne pepper
50g of grated parmesan


Bring a large and a small saucepan to the boil. Add the washed broccoli to the smaller pan and simmer until cooked (ours took five minutes) drain and set aside (lid on) to a warm place.
Meanwhile cooked the gnocchi in the large saucepan (ours took 3 minutes). When it rises to the top drain and remove to a warm place.
Meanwhile heat the cream over a medium heat in a saucepan, add 25g of grated parmesan, the garlic granules, chilli sherry and the raw prawns. Stir occasionally. When the prawns have changed from grey to pink they are cooked. Remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the broccoli saucepan.
Then raise the heat a little under the cream saucepan and stir continuously until the cream thickens.
Put the gnocchi, broccoli prawns into a preheated dish. Pour over the cream sauce, sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan and put under the grill to brown the top.

CFC* Condemned food counter

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  1. Yummi, I’m a sucker for seafood,especially prawns.

    Any pasta with creamy sauce,crunchy breadcrumb-cheesy topping gets the thumbs-up from me!

    Better still when it can be prepared,cooked on the plate and savoured in mega-quick time has got to be a hit.
    Hits the spot nicely, why bother with microwave meals when such culinary delights can be rustled up so fast?
    Great for using up any oddments left in the fridge, just as long as it doesn’t overpower the prawns.
    Another great,tasty,adaptable recipe. THANKYOU!!!
    Thoroughly enjoyable once again.
    OdelleS x
    PS:-Love the ‘smellies’, pretty functional,great for little gifts! There’s no limit to your talents Fiona, seamstress as-well. What a good investment the ‘singer’ was!
    Do you ever ‘sit still’?……lol xxx

  2. Inspired by this, I checked the pasta isle in my local JS and, sure enough, there was a vacu-packed bag of gnocchi! So last night, we tried your recipe. We don’t have garlic granules so used a fresh clove, minced, and we also sauted several shallots (because they needed using up!). Our prawns were already cooked – reduced down at JS so ideal for a frugal meal! The result was delicious! Our only negative thought was – there wasn’t enough 😉

  3. Cookie Girl

    That sounds like a LOVELY meal. I will have to get to the supermarket to get some PSB – I don’t have any home-grown but I’ll bet it is GORGEOUS. I have not had much experience with gnocchi.. on the occasion I have tried it I have found it sticky/gloopy. Am I doing something wrong … ?

    ON the subject of raw prawns I got some lovely huge ones in France marinated them for the day in garlic and lemon and thyme in the fridge and then griddled them on my George Foreman (my only cooking device in France), they were delicious with a green bean/tomato/mustard dressing salad. Yum !

  4. A perfect example that fast food can be good, homemade and delicious.

  5. Ruthdigs

    Oh that sounds SO good. I love gnocchi, prawns and psb. Did you ever make your own gnocchi? It’s on my ‘to do’ list, looks fairly simple, I think!
    Lots of cream in this though – bye bye waistline!

  6. brightsprite

    Fast food; comfort food; and delicious all in one meal! Sounds like a real winner, Fiona.

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