Double, double, toil and trouble...
Halloween is my favourite day of the year, but unfortunately for 2017, my actual Halloween day was riddled with something more terrifying than anything I could have dressed up as - A COLD.
So rather than dressing up in something inappropriate, this year I stayed in and used some of the ingredients I picked up in Italy to make a Halloween-themed dinner. Taking inspiration from both I'm A Celebrity and Macbeth (hey, I am an equal opportunities cultural sponge), I rustled up this fiery, boozy baked stewy goodness that warmed the cockles and meant I got to stand over the stove stirring like a mad witch.
The amazing teatowel and oven mitt are from Ulster Weavers, and the delicious Pumpkin Seed Oil and absinthe were from Il Gusto (who's range of delectable oils is making me weep with joy).
If you fancy making some gory Halloween grub, I've put my recipe below. It was pretty hot so substitute the chilli and 'nduja for garlic and parsley for a tasty version with less of a kick.
Tash's Trick or Treat Witches Grub
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 so adjust accordingly, takes about half an hour)
- 500g gnocchi (life is way too short to make your own, just get the best quality one you can)
- 2 x tins of good quality chopped tomatoes
- 1 packet of baby spinach
- 1 x packet of cherry tomatoes
- 1 heaped tbsp 'nduja
- 1 salsiccia sausage (or if you can't get this, use chorizo) - sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic - minced
- 1 red chilli - sliced
- Pumpkin seed oil (you can use olive oil but come on! It's Halloween!)
- 50ml absinthe (optional, but if you ditch it, where's the trick?!)
You can either have it just as a spicy, wintery stew-type dish or bake it into a hearty pasta-bake style slab. If you do the latter, get yourself a ball of mozzarella too!
- Put some pumpkin oil in your frying pan, and add the sliced salsiccia, garlic, cherry tomatoes, absinthe and chopped red chilli until they're sizzling and the sausage is browning on the edges.
- Add the whole packet of spinach and let it wilt down.
- Plonk in your tins of tomatoes and the spoonful of nduja, let it sizzle away until it's bubbling gently. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper how you like it.
- Add the gnocchi, put the lid on the pan and leave it for 5-10 minutes (or until the gnocchi is soft but not mushy).
Then, you can either eat it as it is - or do what I did and bake it. If you're doing the extra step, pop it into a casserole dish and tear a ball of mozzarella over the top. Pop it under the grill for a few minutes and it'll come out all stringy and delicious. The perfect Halloween grub!