Not Quite Summer Food!

Gnocchi with Beef Ragu

I did not care that it was hot yesterday, I wanted this for dinner.

A few months ago at one of our winery trips I ordered this for lunch and I just couldn’t wait to eat. It was cold outside and I love this dish. The view from the window was awesome, the wine was just lovely and the company was what it always is with these girls – loud, funny and wonderful…and the food…well…the food was the worst thing I have ever had in my life!

It was basically very chunky bits of meat with carrots (both undercooked) swimming around in a dirty dishwater like gravy and I’m not sure if it was gnocchi it was floating on…I couldn’t understand how this could happen in such a pretty looking place…and then I saw the “chef!” – I think she was about 13 yrs old – hopefully this means that she still has time to go to cooking school and learn a few things or do something different with her life – poor girl – the food was awful but somehow I figured that this was not what she did for a living!

So very disamappointed…yes, that’s right…disamappointed…!!!


I can get the word wrong if I want to! I mean they got this dish wrong and still charged me almost $30 for it so I can get any word wrong and it won’t cost you a thing!

I have been obsessed with this ever since that day and I finally got around to making it. Yes, it was a very warm 31C outside and a bbq would’ve been better but the bbq went to the ex after our split late last year (it’s ok, I got the car and the 50 inch Plasma TV!) so I was more than happy to part with the bbq!

Anyhoo – it was delish!

nom nom…mmmm

nom nom…mmmm


  • 1kg chuck steak or gravy beef, diced and dusted in plain flour
  • 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • parsley
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
  • 250ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Sauté the beef in batches, add onions, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, spices,  and salt & pepper. Add the wine & stock and cover.
  • Place in the oven or stove top and cook for at least 1 -2 hrs or until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thick but not sticking to the pan.
  • Boil water in a deep saucepan for the gnocchi – I buy ready made gnocchi in a vac sealed pac from my favorite deli but you can use whichever gnocchi you like – or – you could make your own (I don’t have the time).
  • Once the water has come to the boil add the gnocchi. Once all the gnocchi has risen to the top of the boiling water it is ready. Drain the gnocchi.
  • I usually add a tablespoon of butter to the saucepan and slightly burn the butter – until the butter is nutty and not black, then add the gnocchi and toss in the butter.
  • Add the ragu to the gnocchi and toss until well combined.
  • Top with Parmesan Cheese and serve with garlic bread (if you like).

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