This is a variation of one of my favorite quick dishes that also uses store-bought gnocchi as a shortcut. It is less spicy which pleased my husband. 😉 The cheesiness of this version definitely made it a crowd-pleaser.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. It was the perfect dinner to make and serve after making cupcakes all afternoon with my daughter. Fast and fabulous.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 (12- to 18-ounce) packages shelf-stable or refrigerated potato gnocchi (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup (4 T) unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
8 to 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more, to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups (2 pints) small tomatoes, such as cherry, grape or Sungold
4 to 6 T thinly sliced (chiffonade) or torn basil leaves, plus more for serving
8 to 9 ounces (8 slices) fresh mozzarella, cut or torn into 1/2-inch pieces
Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
In a large (12-inch) skillet on the stovetop, heat enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan (about 1 tablespoon) over medium-high. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add half the gnocchi to the pan, breaking up any that are stuck together. Cover with a lid or baking sheet and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Repeat with the remaining gnocchi and olive oil.
Add the butter to the skillet and cook over medium-high, stirring often, until golden-brown and toasty, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the garlic, red-pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper, reducing the heat slightly if necessary to avoid scorching.
Add the tomatoes and 3 tablespoons water and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened and the liquid has slightly thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Smash the tomatoes as they burst to help them along.
Add the seared gnocchi and basil, stir to coat, then shake into an even layer.
Top with the mozzarella and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Broil until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. (I set my oven to 500 degrees Broil+Max.)
Top with more basil, red-pepper flakes, and black pepper as desired.
More weeknight comfort food! This dish uses rotisserie chicken meat and store-bought gnocchi as shortcuts to create a close match to traditional chicken and dumplings. It was quick to prepare and very tasty.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Alexa Weibel. I incorporated my CSA parsley, leeks, carrots, and collard greens. In addition, this soup could easily gobble up many other vegetables such as frozen peas, fennel, squash, parsnips, or mushrooms. We ate it with a green salad. Great.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
3tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 5 cups 1/2-inch ribbons of collard greens or kale, ribs removed (optional)
2medium carrots or 8 ounces butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1medium leek, trimmed, white and pale green portion halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup) (can substitute 1 large shallot, if desired)
1(16 to 18-ounce) package fresh or shelf-stable store-bought gnocchi (I used Trader Joe’s 17.6-ounce gnocchi)
1/2 store-bought rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 to 3 cups shredded meat)
fresh tarragon, parsley or dill, for garnish
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add the carrots, leek, celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme and poultry seasoning, if using. Incorporate any additional vegetables at this time as well; I added sliced collard greens. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with the flour, then cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (This cooks the flour to soften its raw flavor.)
Gradually stir in the stock and cream, and bring to a boil over medium-high to high heat.
Once the mixture boils, stir in the gnocchi, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until gnocchi and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chicken in the last couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide among bowls and top with fresh tarragon or parsley and more black pepper, if desired.
The genius of this recipe is that the corn is roasted on the grill prior to shucking it. The corn is completely clean and fabulously roasted after 20 minutes. I can’t believe I’d never done this before! This method can actually be done in an oven as well. Fabulous.
We ate this dish as a side salad but it could also be used served over pasta, gnocchi, or with steamed green beans. The melange is prepared ahead of time so that the flavors blend and develop before serving. Perfect for guests! This dish is from Mad Hungry Family: 120 Essential Recipes to Feed the Whole Crew by Lucinda Scala Quinn. It’s a must try before the late summer corn is gone.
Yield: Makes enough sauce for 1 pound of pasta, gnocchi, or steamed green beans
2 large tomatoes, chopped or 2 pounds grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
6 garlic cloves, smashed
handful of basil leaves, torn or chiffonade
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp coarse salt
5 ears fresh sweet corn, in the husk
Preheat a grill or oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oil, and salt in a large bowl.
Meanwhile, place the unshucked ears of corn on the grill (or in the oven) and roast for about 20 minutes (you’ll smell the aroma of sweet corn when they’re done).
Let the corn cool in the husks. Remove the husks and cut the kernels off the cobs.
Incorporate corn into the tomato mixture. Let flavors meld for up to several hours prior to serving. Use as desired.
Now that I am no longer too intimidated to make gnocchi, I can’t stop! This gnocchi dough doesn’t need to be kneaded or rolled; it is cut from a pastry bag into bite-sized pieces directly into the cooking water. Great! This recipe and technique were adapted from Chef Nemo Bolin at Cook & Brown Public House in Providence, RI, via Bon Appetit. A wonderful spring dish. I increased the amount of vegetables and plan to add even more next time. Luxurious comfort food! 🙂
10 oz (or more if desired) sliced fresh mushrooms such as creminis, morels, shiitakes, or a combination
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 lb. pods) or frozen peas, thawed
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh chives, finely grated Parmesan, and finely grated lemon zest, for serving, optional
For the Gnocchi:
Line a baking dish with 3 layers of paper towels; spoon ricotta onto paper towels and let sit 30 minutes (if the ricotta is too wet, the dough won’t hold together).
Combine ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, and salt in a food processor; season with pepper and process until smooth.
Add flour and pulse just to combine (mixture should be smooth and fairly wet).
Transfer gnocchi mixture to a pastry bag fitted with ½” round tip or a large resealable plastic bag.
DO AHEAD: Gnocchi mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover pastry tip and chill. (I did do this step a day in advance without any issues.)
For the Vegetables & Assembly:
Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Using tongs or a mesh strainer, transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool; drain. Slice asparagus on the diagonal into bite-size pieces, leaving tips intact.
Reduce heat so water is simmering. If using a resealable plastic bag for gnocchi mixture, cut a ½” opening in bottom of bag. Working in 3 batches, pipe dough into pot, cutting off 1” lengths with a paring knife and letting dough drop into water. Cook until doubled in size, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to a lightly oiled baking sheet. (I used cooking spray.) Reserve ¼ cup cooking liquid.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook mushrooms, tossing occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add shallots and cook, tossing occasionally, until shallots and mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes; set aside.
Add gnocchi, asparagus, peas, butter, and reserved cooking liquid to skillet with morels. Cook, tossing gently, until vegetables are warm and sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with chives, Parmesan, and lemon zest.
In the past, I have found making gnocchi to be a frustrating experience. I blame my previous difficulty on waterlogged potatoes… In this recipe, the potatoes are baked prior to ricing- no water involved- it worked perfectly! The gnocchi were tender, soft, and pillowy. This dish was inspired by alamain.net. The recipe for gnocchi was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Grace Parisi. I modified it by adding spinach, using whole wheat flour, and dressing it with pesto. The pesto recipe was adapted from alamain.net. I used Tuscan Kale instead of Rainbow Kale, Grana Padano instead of Parmesan, and walnuts instead of pine nuts. I doubled the gnocchi recipe to freeze a batch for later. Green, healthy, and delicious!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Gnocchi:
4 pounds russet potatoes (about 6) (enough to make 5 cups riced potatoes)
5 large egg yolks
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, or enough to achieve desired dough texture, plus more for dusting
6 oz baby spinach
1 T olive oil
Kale-Walnut Pesto (recipe follows)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
Preheat the oven to 400°. Pierce the potatoes all over with a fork. Alternatively, bake the potatoes in the oven for about 1 hour, until tender.
Meanwhile, sauté the baby spinach in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. Using the potato ricer, squeeze out excess moisture from the spinach. Finely chop the drained spinach in a food processor.
Halve the potatoes. Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes. Transfer 5 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks, drained and chopped spinach, and 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Add the 1 to 1 1/2 cups of flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky, adding more flour if necessary.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 16 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces.
With your thumb, roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges (I dusted the gnocchi, fork, and my thumb with flour before rolling); transfer to the baking sheet.
In a large pot of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. Repeat as necessary. (Do not overcrowd!)
Toss the gnocchi with pesto to cover, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve.
MAKE AHEAD: The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, transferred to a resealable plastic bag, and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting. (I reserved half of the batch.)
For the Kale-Walnut Pesto
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup Tuscan kale
1/4 cup walnuts
4 T olive oil
1/4 cup grated Grana Padano
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until paste consistency is reached. Store in an airtight container.
When I saw this recipe in my Food and Wine magazine, I wanted to make it right away. The title of the column, “Best New Chef: Most Wanted Recipes”, made it hard to resist, and the picture of the finished VEGETARIAN dish was gorgeous. I bought all of the ingredients. Then I pulled up the recipe in my kitchen on FoodandWine.com and saw that the comments regarding this dish stated that the recipe was flawed and inaccurate. I had already been scarred in the past making waterlogged (gummy) potato gnocchi, and I didn’t want to put myself through another frustrating experience. However, despite the comments, my husband encouraged me to make this dish anyway- and I really wanted to try it. So I approached this recipe with trepidation.
The primary issue with the original recipe is that it calls for 2.5 pounds of fresh spinach- the comments on the Food and Wine website stated that this resulted in too much spinach puree, and dough that wouldn’t hold together. I decided that this was because 2.5 pounds of bagged spinach was used, and I was using 2.5 pounds of fresh spinach which when stemmed weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces. (I weighed it as I was being much more thorough than usual!) After blanching the spinach, I squeezed it dry in a potato ricer – my secret weapon. I didn’t want waterlogged gnocchi again! The end result was 1 1/2 cups of spinach puree– only 1 cup is used in the gnocchi. (I will just eat or reuse the leftover spinach puree -yum.) When I make this dish again in the future, I will use 2 pounds of fresh spinach (with stems).
I was also apprehensive to alter the shape of each gnocchi for fear that they would disassemble. The dough is very sticky and wet– it is not rolled into a log, but scooped into a mound of flour. So, I kept my “scoops”- they looked like spinach meatballs. 🙂
This gnocchi is very flavorful– much more than a potato or ricotta gnocchi. They were very tender and delicious. Completely worth all of the stress. The use of three cheeses and brown butter give it a complex and FABULOUS taste. I know why this is a “Most Wanted Recipe”! This recipe was contributed to Food and Wine by Mark Vetri of Vetri Ristorante in Philadelphia. My adaptations are incorporated below. This dish would be a lovely -and fancy- appetizer as well.
1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese (1 ounce)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain, dry, fine bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and shaved ricotta salata, for serving
Soak spinach to wash throughly. In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the spinach until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain with a bamboo strainer (spider) into a colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Cool the spinach by placing the colander into a large bowl of ice water, then drain and squeeze dry. Squeezing out all excess water by using a potato ricer is a great method. Wipe out the pot, fill with water and bring to a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, transfer the spinach to a food processor. Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid and puree until very smooth. You should have 1 cup of puree; add additional cooking liquid if needed.
Scrape the spinach puree into a large bowl and mix in the grated Grana Padano cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to form a soft dough.
Spread the remaining 1 cup of flour in a pie plate and dust a large rimmed baking sheet with flour. Place dough into the flour using a 1-inch ice cream scoop. Gently roll the gnocchi dough into 1-inch balls. Carefully roll the gnocchi in the flour, shake off the excess and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Add salt to the simmering water. Add half of the gnocchi to the pot and cook until they rise to the surface, then simmer until cooked through, about 3 minutes (about 5 minutes total cooking time). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a platter. Cover loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
In a skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Spoon the brown butter over the gnocchi. Top with Parmigiano and ricotta salata (I used a serrated peeler to “shave” it) and serve.
Now that spring is here we are busy doing TONS of yard work. I needed a quick dinner to pull together with my last bit of energy. This is my FAVORITE quick dinner. SUPER QUICK.
I use store bought whole wheat or regular potato gnocchi – although I am sure that this dish would be even more amazing with homemade! It is quite spicy with the red pepper flakes -which I love as well. We eat it with a green salad or roasted vegetables on the side. This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food.
For the Sauce:
4 (thick) or 5 (regular) slices bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
3 medium tomatoes, or 6-8 Campari tomatoes, cored and diced medium
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, to taste
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 batch simple potato gnocchi (recipe below) or17.6 oz (500g) store-bought whole wheat or regular potato gnocchi (cooked according to package directions)
fresh parsley or basil, chopped, for garnish
parmesan, shaved or grated, for garnish
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high until crisp. Drain on paper towels; remove all but 2 teaspoons fat from skillet.
Add tomatoes, garlic, and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes begin to break down and sauce is chunky, 6 minutes.
Add cooked gnocchi and bacon. Toss until gnocchi are heated through and coated with sauce.
Sprinkle with herbs and Parmesan; serve immediately.
For the Simple Potato Gnocchi:
Prep Time: 50 minutes, Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: Serves 8
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 5 small)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg, lightly beaten
In a large pot, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 40 minutes.
Lightly dust two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets with flour; set aside.
Drain potatoes and peel while still hot with a paring knife (use a thick, dry kitchen towel or pot holder to hold them). Immediately pass potatoes through a ricer onto a work surface. Let cool completely.
Sprinkle potatoes with flour and 2 teaspoons salt, then top with egg. With your hands, work flour and egg into a dough.
Knead dough until smooth but not elastic, dusting with flour if it becomes too sticky, 4 minutes. Do not overwork dough.
Divide dough into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a rope (1/2 inch thick and 24 inches long). Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces.
Gently roll each dough piece against the back tines of a fork to make ridges, then arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In batches, add a few handfuls gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, 2 minutes. With a wire-mesh spider or a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi immediately to a sauce.
Note: Place boiled gnocchi on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, cover, and let sit, up to 2 hours.