A dinner party with friends and family: a trio of pate, gnocchi carbonara and meringues

We had a whole pile of lovely friends over for dinner last weekend, and had a very jolly evening. I really enjoyed the food – both the cooking and the eating. The menu was simple, but had lots of our favourite things.

We started with two lovely nibbles:

The starter was a trio of pate: chicken and chorizo, duck and orange and a coarse Ardennes, with a fig chutney and rye blend toast.

The main was gnocchi carbonara, courtesy of Delia Smith. I love this recipe – it’s a cheat, but it has some great first-principle ingredients nad tasted absolutely delicious!

Having not cooked with it for many years, I love pancetta; some of it was smoked, and it was particularly tasty. Ditto gnocchi; so quick to cook and I do love it so.

I adapted Delia’s recipe to finish it off in the oven for 25 minutes, rather than grilling it – that way I could cook it while we were starting or meal.

The tomato salad was a mixture of chopped tomatoes, torn basil leaves with balsamic vinegar and seasoning.

The dessert was one I’d done recently for Mum’s birthday: meringue nests topped with whipped cream, raspberries and passion fruit seeds. Simple and yummy.

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