Peter and Maggie have shared some of their eventful aged care food journeys together. Peter’s journey includes the creation of three amazing cookbooks. Peter shares his recipe for Semolina Gnocchi with Tomato and Olive Stew from his first cook book ‘Don’t give me eggs that bounce’, and from his latest palliative care cookbook, ‘Lobster for Josino’, a Sugo sauce recipe as an accompaniment, which utilises 2kg of tomatoes!
Link to purchase cookbooks crackingrecipes.com
Semolina gnocchi with tomato and olive stew
Serves 2 • Prep 15 mins • Cook 25 mins
For the gnocchi
- 450ml milk
- 120g semolina
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 4 basil leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 20g butter
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
For the Tomato stew
- 1/2 Spanish onion, cut into 6 wedges
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 60g or 6 small cherry tomatoes
- 1 vine ripened tomato, blanched, skin and seeds removed
- 1/2 punnet yellow teardrop tomatoes or other heirloom small tomatoes
- 10 Ligurian olives, seeded and split into two
- 75ml olive oil
- 1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tsp sage leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8–10 basil leaves (for garnishing)
Preheat oven to 200°C. In a saucepan, add the milk, nutmeg, rosemary, basil, bay leaves and salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Remove the bay leaves, basil leaves and rosemary. Gradually add in the semolina, while whisking. Whisk until smooth and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then add butter, egg yolk, Parmesan cheese and beat the mixture well with a wooden spoon.
Grease a non-stick surface or container with olive oil. Spoon out the gnocchi mix into the container or tray and spread with a pastry scraper to make a neat square (about 1cm in thickness). Melt the butter and brush the surface of the gnocchi square. Sprinkle the freshly grated Parmesan on top of the buttered gnocchi square.
For the tomato and olive stew, add a dash of olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Add the onion ‘petals’ and cook on a low heat until transparent—do not allow to burn. Add the garlic and then cut the seeded tomatoes halves into petals. Add the 75ml olive oil and all of the yellow teardrop tomatoes and cherry tomatoes into the frying pan. Simmer until tomatoes begin to soften, and then add the olives, sage and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and then remove from the heat.
Cut the gnocchi into 6 rectangular wedges. Place the wedges on baking paper and place them in the oven until golden brown. Carefully remove the gnocchi from the tray. Place 3 rectangles on each plate and put a generous amount of tomato and olive stew next to them. Sprinkle liberally with picked basil leaves. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil.
Tip: This is a great vegetarian meal.
Makes 1L Prep 5 mins Cook 1 hour
- 2 kg vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
- 1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves (skin on)
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 2 sprigs each basil, oregano and thyme
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place tomatoes on a large baking tray with garlic, herbs, oil and balsamic. Sprinkle with sugar, season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
Turn tomatoes cut-side up, then roast for 1 hour or until tomatoes and garlic are softened. Cool, then peel tomatoes and garlic (the skin will slip off easily). Discard herb stalks. Whiz in a processor or blender to a coarse puree, then adjust seasoning.
Tips: ~ If on a modified diet, blend until pureed and pass through a sieve. If it is too runny for your thickened fluids, add more cooked mixture (drain the liquid), or thicken with a commercial thickener.
Peter has cooked for the British Royal Family and alongside some of Australia’s best known chefs and is now HammondCare’s Executive Chef and Food Ambassador. Peter began working with HammondCare in 2012 after five years as Head Chef at the Art Gallery of NSW. Other culinary highlights include working in top restaurants in Bermuda, Germany and London as well as some of Sydney’s most iconic restaurants including Gay Bilson’s Bennelong at the Opera House, the three-hat MG Garage with Janni Kyritsis and his own one-hat Clock Hotel Restaurant. Peter has now embraced the opportunity to bring to the aged care sector his vast restaurant experience along with his love for ‘unadulterated’ foods where the ‘flavours do the talking’ through fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce and innovation in modified meals. Peter is a sought-after speaker and trains aged care chefs through Dining by Design courses and with Maggie Beer’s creating an Appetite for Life schools. Peter is the co-author of the best-selling ‘It’s all about the food, not the fork! 107 easy to eat meals in a mouthful’ and ‘Don’t give me eggs that bounce: 118 cracking recipes for people with Alzheimer’s!. He has just co-authored a third book called “Lobster for Josino; Fabulous food for our final days’, released in May 18 for food in palliative care which has been awarded Gourmand Australian Cookbook of the Year and Senior Cookbook of the Year and is now a finalist for world cookbook of the year.