Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Recipe: Spinach Gnocchi in a Parmesan Butter Sauce

For lots of reasons, I've been rather lax about preparing meals lately. I'm not proud of it, and I've definitely not felt as amazing as I usually do BUT I'm still trying to eat as fresh and healthy as I can.

I came up with this dish due to lack of time and energy and it is very tasty and very rich considering the little effort that goes into it.  Because this is one of my last minute, go-to recipes, I don't have exact measurements or ingredients. I tend to make it with whatever I have on hand, and it's even tasty plain. Of course, I much prefer it with vegetables in it because it's much heartier and more filling, but use what you have on hand for this quick dish.

I found fresh (and affordable!) gnocchi with spinach ground into the pasta. So that's the base. I whipped up a quick butter sauce while the gnocchi was boiling. If you're feeling ambitious, toss fresh vegetables in the butter and saute them. If you're lazy and have fermented vegetables on hand, just wait until everything is ready and add a spoonful on top when it's finished baking. (You can guess which one I did...)

1 pound of gnocchi
3-4 tablespoons of butter
parmesan cheese

optional: shallots (or fermented onions), garlic, fresh spinach, bit of lemon juice (or zest of preserved lemons), chili flakes, salt, pepper

Place a pot of water on the stove. Add the gnocchi once the water begins to boil. Keep an eye on it as it usually only takes 4 minutes.

Place your butter in a pan on the stove as well.

If you're using fresh produce, you'll need a bit more butter, it should be on medium heat, and you should begin sauteing. Start with the shallots/onions and saute until they're golden brown - about 4 minutes. If you have anything else crunchy you want to add, do it now. Otherwise, as the shallots/onions brown, add the rest of your ingredients: spinach, lemon juice/zest, garlic, and spices.

If you're not using fresh produce, keep your butter on low heat.

I like to add the cheese (after the veg have softened) and let it melt into the butter. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

As the gnocchi finishes (it will get all fluffy and float to the top of the pan), I add it to the sauce/veg mixture and saute it for a few more minutes.

Add the gnocchi and sauce to your bowl and let it cool for a moment or two. If you're using fermented veg, now would be the time to add it and stir it into the dish.

And there you go! Very simple and delicious.

Total time: 5-10 minutes
Serves: 2 people

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