“Beans, beans the musical fruit. The more you eat the more you…" etc. You’d think that because of this puerile health fact, I’d be a fan of tinned baked beans, but in my mind they'll always have trouble shaking their grotty reputation. No matter how many upmarket English breakfasts sell them, they’ll always remind me of some skanky bourgeois student eating them cold, straight out of the tin, using a bent library card as a spoon, when you know full well that their mum went and did a big grocery shop in Waitrose for them last week and they’ve actually got a fridge full of organic ready meals and Sicilian lemonade.
No, YOU are the one with a chip on your shoulder. Baked Bean Gnocchi My trick for quickly poshing up any ingredient is to hide it in Italian food. It’s a cuisine that constantly proves that, if you gesticulate enough and put vowels on the end of every dish, you can make what is essentially dough balls sound like it requires three sous chefs and a bath full of truffle oil. I’m onto you Italy, you delicious charlatans.
Gnocchi is a dumpling dish that was first conjured up by the Ancient Romans to help them carb-load for all the imperial raping and pillaging they were going to tucker themselves out with. Though the most common recipe is potato gnocchi, you can build them from any vaguely carby mush (hence the beans).
1 x tin of baked beans
1 x egg
1 x cup of plain flour
butter for frying Step 1.
So the first step is to unload your beans into a pan, and do the one thing you’re not supposed to do with beans; crank up the heat and let them overcook into a weird, gross orange slush.
Once you’ve stirred the beans beyond recognition, slush them into a bowl and stick in the flour and egg. I didn’t throw in any seasoning because beans are chock-full of enough preservatives and MSG crack as it is, don’t be a hero.
Once you smushed everything together thoroughly, it should look vaguely doughy. If it’s a little wet, sprinkle in more flour; if it’s dry and flaky, you fucked up and can’t follow simple instructions.
Now, cut the dough into little miniature cushions.
Some people use a special paddle to get that gnocchi lined effect, but you can just roll a fork over them. And honestly, if you have kitchen equipment specifically for making pretty patterns, why in the fuck are you even reading this? Get out.
Next, you need to cook them for about two seconds in a pan of salty boiling water. Like, plop them in and once they float to the top that’s it. Any longer and you’ll get dough sewage. Then, that’s it! Step 6.
OF COURSE that’s not it. I’m not a monster. Finish them in a pan full of fat and fry until golden.
Ta-da! Serve with some leaves you found under a dual carriageway and there you have it: the skanky baked bean transformed into sexy Italian carb-icide in six easy (if you’re not stoopid) steps.
Previously - Oreo Extravaganza
Really fucking hungry? Check out Joanna Fuertes-Knight's (totally free) online cookbook! It's got every Girl Eats Food recipe ever in it.