Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gnocchi with White Beans and Spinach

So I'm afraid I've been giving you a lot of recipes with chopping lately. Of course, I think the recipes are definitely worth the effort (or I wouldn't tell you about them!) and there is so much fresh produce is in season now but I do realize that not everyone has the time or interest in chopping away. So to make up for that, I'm sharing this recipe with you. The gnocchi with white beans and spinach was great and requires very little prep work from you. However, my only complaint about the original recipe is its lack of seasoning anything. I understand (and appreciate) trying to cut down on sodium but it definitely needed some seasoning or it comes out a bit bland. So with some salt and pepper thrown in there, this would be an excellent dish. I served this one-pot meal with marinara (however, I always serve pasta dishes with marinara because I like it so much).

One nice thing about this recipe is that you can buy everything ready to go or you can save a little and make it on your own. Any packaged gnocchi at the grocery store would work really well but we actually had homemade gnocchi in ours. I made gnocchi about a month ago and froze half of it. It took a bit of time but its cheaper, tastier and probably better for you (I, of course, used whole wheat flour). So for those interested, my gnocchi recipe is below. I'm still perfecting the gnocchi technique - quite a few of mine fell apart although they still tasted delicious.

Gnocchi with White Beans and Spinach
Taken from: Eating Well
Serves 4
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi OR homemade gnocchi
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped spinach or swiss chard leaves
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings OR 2 tomatoes, chopped and seasoned with dried thyme, oregano and parsley
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
-Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
-Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and garlic to pan over medium heat and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds), stirring.
-Add onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Add water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.
-Stir in tomatoes, beans and pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
-Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

Homemade Gnocchi
Taken from: A Hint of Honey
Serves 8 (could be easily halved or half of this frozen for a future meal)
  • 2 lb. russet potatoes (about 4 medium), scrubbed
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
-Boil the unpeeled potatoes in a large pot until tender (easily pierced with a knife), about 30 minutes. Drain. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle. peel off the skins and mash until light and fluffy (or run them through a ricer if you have one). Let cool to room temperature.
-In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with the egg. Add the flour (starting with about 1 cup) and salt. Mix with your hands until the flour is moistened and the dough starts to clump together (adding more flour if necessary). Form the dough into a large ball. Knead gently until the flour is fully incorporated and the dough is soft, smooth, and a little sticky, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (Don't overmix it, or the gnocchi will be tough; the dough should feel very delicate.) Cover the formed dough with a clean kitchen towel.
-Lightly flour your work surface. Tear off a lemon-sized piece of dough (covering the rest with the towel so it doesn't dry out). With the palms of your hands, roll the dough on the floured surface into a rope (about 3/4 inch in diameter). With a sharp knife cut the rope crosswise into square gnocchi. Arrange them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet (sprinkled with flour) to prevent sticking. Repeat until you have used all the dough, reflouring the work surface as needed.

NOTE: At this point the gnocchi can be kept at room temperature for several hours or refrigerated if longer. Gnocchi can also be frozen and then directly boiled at a later time. To prevent clumping, I suggest sticking the entire pan of gnocchi into the freezer for 2-3 hours until they have partially hardened. At that point they can be combined in freezer-safe storage containers without risk of clumping.

No comments:

Post a Comment