Sunday, April 18, 2010

Richly colorful gnocchi

I did it! And it was freakin awesome.
I saw this recipe in Sunset magazine ages ago. I think it was a vegetarian Thanksgiving option. I ripped out the page when I was visiting in the Bay Area, and it's been floated from my desk, to bookshelf, to bedside table for months. Finally, last night, it made its way to the kitchen counter. I had all of the major ingredients, just made a trip to pick of the cheeses and mushrooms and, voila! 
I swear it looked amazing. I was initially pretty impressed with myself but then I realized something: it's actually a pretty simple recipe. Just a tad time-consuming if you are alone. If you're NOT alone, and you have someone to make the gnocchi, someone to make the veggies, you're set, and this will be a cinch. But seriously, if you are alone and you want to make this, even though it makes about 4 servings, it's still manageable and satisfying and vegetarian and healthy and innovative. So i urge you to give it a go, because even before you eat it, it will make you feel good that you created this colorful (and in food terms, colorful is like super richly good, nutrient-wise), simple masterpiece!
Sweet Potato Gnocchi w/ spinach and mushrooms
adapted from Sunset magazine
1 lb (about 3 small) sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled, and pureed in blender
1 T brown sugar
1/2 c ricotta cheese, strained 1-hr over sink if watery
1/2 c freshly-grated parmesan cheese
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 T salt
1 T extra virgin olive oil

Begin to boil large pot of lightly salted water. Mix all ingredients to form a soft dough you can handle. Have a floured work surface (I used a cutting board) ready. With flour on your hands, form dough into four sections, and shape each one into a 1/2" wide rope. With a sharp knife, slice each rope into 1/2" sections. In batches of about 15, begin to boil gnocchi in water. Boil first batch about 5 min, or until firm and floated to top. Remove with slotted spoon to strainer, then to lightly oiled pan so they don't stick together. Do this for each batch. When they're all done, heat oil in a saute pan, add gnocchi, and toss occasionally, cooking until browned lightly. Set aside.

1 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T sliced shallot
2 c sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 c vegetable broth
1-2 c baby spinach
salt, pepper, parmesan to taste

In saute pan, heat 1/2 T butter. Add garlic and shallot, cook until fragrant but not brown. Add mushrooms, cook 5-8 min on medium heat, until they release their liquid. Then add broth, remaining butter, and spinach. Cook on medium-high heat until spinach is wilted.

To serve: Put gnocchi on plate, top with veggies, salt and pepper, and freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!

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