This is our very first gnocchi meal! Michael's sisters taught us this weekend that we pronounce it wrong - we say 'notch-ie' rather than 'yo-key'. How do you like that attempt at phonetics? :) Notchie or yokey, I don't think I've ever even had it in a restaurant believe it or not. Let me tell you what, those guys are like little balls of doughy heaven! Mmm mmm good! It also helps when they are cooked in butter. We modified it from a Cooking Light recipe, so it's still healthy. This meal is perfect for a weeknight because it is super quick to throw together. Michael was out back for just a bit drawing up some crazy shed plans to make his fancy shed even fancier and when he came back in he couldn't believe supper was already ready. That kind of fast meal! Even though it's a veggie recipe, Michael didn't mind one bit. We made it with one bunch of spinach, which wasn't enough, so you'll see below that I recommended 1 large bunch or 2 small ones. Spinach just cooks down so much.
What I learned about gnocchi (from Wikipedia):
"Gnocchi are various thick, soft dumplings. They may be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato, bread crumbs, or similar ingredients.The word gnocchi means "lumps", and may derive from nocchio, a knot in the wood, or from nocca (knuckle). It has been a traditional Italian pasta type of probably Middle Eastern origin since Roman times. In Roman times, gnocchi were made from a semolina porridge-like dough mixed with eggs, and are still found in similar forms today, particularly Sardinia's malloreddus (although they do not contain eggs). The use of potato is a relatively recent innovation, occurring after the introduction of the potato to Europe in the 16th century."
After we made this post, I started noticing lots of homemade gnocchi recipes on fellow bloggers' sites. That's my next goal. =)
The Cooking Light recipe suggested a salad with a simple dressing recipe as a side, which I decided to try too & it was great. I just threw together some lettuce, scallions and feta, then topped it with the dressing. To make the dressing: Combine a dash of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour over salad.
Makes 3-4 servings.
- 1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Dash of cayenne pepper (omit if you don't like a little heat)
- 1 large (or 2 small) bunches of fresh spinach, torn
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts to pan; cook 2-3 minutes or until butter and nuts are lightly browned, stirring constantly.
- Add garlic and cayenne pepper to pan; cook 1 minute.
- Add gnocchi and spinach to pan; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.