Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Warped 45's, Let's Wrestle and Accidental "Sausage Gnocchi" with Pesto and Fresh Vegetables

My old college roommate, Drew, is no stranger to accidents. In the short time that I lived with him there was the badly sprained wrist from roller skating around the kitchen while drinking hard liquor, the sword cut from trying to put Sam's blade into his pants leg and the music video where he walked into the street and got hit by a cab (probably the funniest video I've ever seen). But none of these compare to Drew's latest and greatest misadventure. It seems that Drew, after our apartment on Belmont Avenue was condemned, relocated to India so that he could make a film about the underground Indian wrestling scene. He became so enamored with the scene that he decided not just to film but to participate. All was going well until he freakishly broke his leg and had to be shipped immediately back to the states.

I'm told there is footage. God I hope so.

Speaking of accidents try this one on:

"Sausage Gnocchi" with Pesto and Fresh Vegetables

for the sausage gnocchi:
-1/2 cup pinto beans, mashed
-1 cup veggie broth, cold
-1 Tbs. olive oil
-2 Tbs. soy sauce
-2 garlic cloves
-1 1/4 cups bread flour
-1/4 cup nutritional yeast
-1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
-1 tsp. oregano

for the rest of the meal:
-olive oil
-1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
-1 cup spinach
-2 yellow bell pepers, diced
-grape tomatoes
-Parmesan Cheese

1. For the sausage gnocchi, mix all the ingredients in the order listed. Stir until combined. Pour into a piece of tin foil and shape into a long log. Place in a bamboo steamer and steam for 35 minutes.

2. Remove the log from the steamer. It will have a similar consistency to preboiled gnocchi. Put olive oil in a wok. Slice the gnocchi into tiny pieces and place into wok. Fry for 10 minutes. The sausage gnocchi should be browned and crisp on the outside.

3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, fry the spinach, yellow bell peppers, zucchini and grape tomatoes in olive oil until softened.

4. Vegetables to the sausage gnocchi. Stir until combined. Remove the gnocchi and vegetables from the heat. Mix in the pesto. Place in bowls and top with Parmesan cheese. Make that fake pig squeal.

This sausage gnocchi will always have a story to go with it. It is one of failure leading to success. The Warped 45's take this idea and turn it on its head in their song "Grampa Carl." The lyrics tell the story of a man who takes the US Government to task during prohibition. Money, riches and cars follow. But the success is fleeting and eventually Carl loses it all. The narrative approach of the lyrics remind me of what the Drive-By Truckers like to do in their songs. It is definitely not a bad thing. Sometimes I like hearing about real life people getting cancer, leaving the girl at the altar or rum running during prohibition. "Grampa Carl" comes from the Warped 45's new album, Matador Sunset, which was released two weeks ago.

"Dear John" by Let's Wrestle (here) poses a simple question in its chorus: how were you well liked in the first place? I can think of at least twenty times in my life where I have thought the same thing. It just took Let's Wrestle to provide the music for those ponderings. "Dear John" is from Let's Wrestle's new release Nursing Home, which is out now on Merge Records.