It's the lament of the 21st century really isn't it? The seemingly endless to do list leaves us having to schedule time to actually enjoy life.
I realise that I'm in a much better position that most people. Without children, I only have myself to think about in the morning (I've given up on my boyfriend). We both have enough underwear to last for two weeks without needing to do any laundry.
Most days, I'm in the office sometime before 8.30am. It's not too early and it only takes me an hour or so to get to work at the moment so I can't really complain too much. Most nights, I manage to make it home by 9pm. My boyfriend will quite often get home around the same time although he'll often have four or five more hours of work to do whereas I will 'only' have a few jobs around the flat and some blog stuff to do. Don't get me wrong, I love my job (however uncool that might be for an accountant) but I do sometimes feel like I'm a stranger to everyone in my life apart from the guy I sit next to at work.
Life is so ridiculous at the moment that I can't remember the last time that my boyfriend and I went to bed at the same time. During the week, I am normally first to bed with a vain plea to my boyfriend not to stay up too late. I'm normally dimly aware of him coming to bed in the early hours of the morning as he survives yet another 18-hour day. At the weekends, I am so desperate to cram everything in that I will often stay up late while he will fall asleep on the sofa watching TV until I force him to bed.
Given that we are ships that pass in the night at the moment, I think it's really important that we try to sit down for twenty minutes, half an hour if I can keep hold of him for that long, to eat a meal together every night.
I find it hard though to summon up the enthusiasm for anything more complicated than turning on the oven of an evening. Our meals have to be quick to prepare too; on the table by 9.30 so that we can both get back to what we feel like we really need to be doing.
This for nundari fits the bill perfectly. In taste and texture they are very similar to potato gnocchi but as they are made with ricotta, rather than potato, the dish foes from raw ingredients to ready-to-eat in a matter of minutes. Five if you work quickly, certainly no more than ten. I often have portions of a tomato pasta sauce in the freezer which I can defrost in the time it takes to make the gnocchi or I just serve it with brown butter and a sprinkling of parmesan.
The recipe was given to me by a twitter and blogging friend, Toby Kennedy. Toby is ridiculously talented. He takes photos, makes videos, plays music but, above all, he loves food and Italian food in particular. He's also about to branch out into making and selling his own food and I can't wait to try it!
Ndundari (Serves 3-4)
Recipe from Toby Kennedy
- 200g ricotta
- 165g plain flour
- 2 egg yolks
- Pinch of black pepper
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- Mix all the ingredients into a dough but don't overwork the mixture (no more than 5 minutes of kneading).
- Separate your dough into two balls and roll each into a sausage shape on a lightly floured worktop.
- Cut into gnocci-sized pieces and cook in a pan of boiling salted water. They should float to the top once they are cooked.
- The gnocchi can also be frozen and cooked straight from the freezer.