It's asparagus season, so here's a great quick tasty dinner. You'll need:
- some fresh asparagus
- jar of pesto sauce
- cheapo sachet of pitted olives, or failing that, a handful from the jar.
Now, chop your asparagus. Slap the bundle on the chopping board -- remember to remove the elastic bands -- and chop the whole bundle into about one-inch lengths. For those of you listening in black and white, that's about 2-3cm.
Now, steam it. Whack a some boiling water into a steamer pan, then put the asparagus in the layer with the holes in, or failing that, in a sieve. Put a lid on the pan.
Steam it for 5 minutes or so, until you can easily stick a fork into the pieces.
While you're doing this, boil your gnocchi. Strain the brine off the olives and toss it in the water you're boiling the gnocchi in -- gives 'em a bit more flavour.
Fish out the gnocchi, plonk 'em in a big bowl. Add the olives and pesto. Stir it about a bit. Add the asparagus. Stir it a bit more.
Plonk some in a bowl, grind a bit of black pepper on it, and eat.
Do not, in the interests of saving a pot and some washing up, attempt to steam the asparagus over the pan you're boiling the gnocchi in. It'll froth up like nobody's business, go all over the sieve, the lid, the cooker and bloody everywhere, and presto, you'll be cleaning the cooker again.
Don't ask me how I know, I just know, OK?
* This is, or at least was, an actual brand. A most amusing birthday gift from the estimable tamaranth demonstrated this, some 20 years ago.
P.S. here's how the pros do it, if you want to be all boring and fancy.