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Dinner party menu

MORTEAGLE@xxxxxxx said:

> I am having a dinner party and would appreciate suggestions for my menu.

A light spring  menu:
Gnochi al Pesto
Asparagus with roasted red pepper
Cucumber Salad
Bannana and strawberry 'icecream'

Gnochi (Make ahead...)
2 pounds of waxy, yellow potatoes (about 6)
1 1/2-2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup cooked, drained and chopped spinich. (Optional)

Microwave potatoes c. 10 minutes (until done), then allow them to cool.
 Peel and then mash them in a large bowl.  Mix in spinich if liked.  Add 1/4
cup of flour to the potatoes at a time, mashing briefly, until about 1 cup
of flour has been incorporated into the dough. More flour is needed if you
use spinich.  The texture of the mix should change to that of very soft but
not wet cookie dough.

Put the dough on a floured surface.  Flour your hands and begin kneading in the
remaining flour, until a firm but slightly sticky dough is attained.  Don't
keep mixing till it becomes elastic like bread dough or they will be tough
and heavy.
Divide the dough into four balls and roll each into a long rope about the
width of your thumb. Cut the into 1 inch bits, and roll into balls.

Press the gnocchi with the tines of a fork to make the classic shell shape.
When all the gnocchi have been made, allow them to dry for about 30 minutes,
while you bring their cooking water to a boil.

They can be pre-made to this point and covered with plastic wrap overnight.
When it's time to cook them, unwrap them and let dry a little.

Plunge 15 or so at a time into ample boiling and salted water (about 4
quarts). At first they will sink to the bottom. When they rise to the top
again, they are done. Quickly remove them with a slotted spoon, drain well
and transfer them to serving dish containing pesto.

1 large bunch basil
1 large bunch parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic
1 pinch of salt (optional)
Freshly cracked pepper to taste.
1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas

Chop finely in a food processer, adding a little water if the mixture is
too dry.  For a slightly naughty but really yummy version I add 1/2 a cup
of freshly toasted pumpkin seeds before processing.  This is also really
good spread on bread, as a salad dressing (thin a bit with lemon), or as a
dip with vegetables.  (It will ward off any cold...)