Friday, April 8, 2011

Gnocchi with Spinach & Garlic!

I have a sister who loves gnocchi.  If it's on the menu at an Italian restaurant she'll order it.  Gnocchi is a potato and semolina dumpling.   It's very filling so you should take that into account for your serving portions.  This is also a pasta that absolutely calls for vegetables to be in with it and an oil-based or tomato-based sauce because gnocchi can be bland.  Today, I'm adding fresh baby spinach leaves that have been sauteed in garlic and lemon juice.  I'm also going to be adding mushrooms.  My final ingredients are fresh basil leaves and lemon zest.  I find that basil (which is growing abundantly in my garden) and lemon zest not only infuses itself into the gnocchi but adds a fresh spring flavor to an otherwise heavy dish.  So, get ready and let's do this!

Here's What You Need:
1 package of gnocchi (whole wheat) * 1 Lemon (juice & zest)
Baby Spinach (stems removed) * Garlic (3 cloves diced)
Onion (1/3 cup diced) * Mushrooms (sliced)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil * Basil Leaves (fresh and finely chopped)

(You will need 1 pot and 1 large saute pan for this dish)

Here's How Ya Do It:
1.  Cook gnocchi according to instructions.
2.  Saute pan should be on medium heat.
3.  Add olive oil, garlic, and onions (cook for 2 minutes)
4.  Be sure to stir so it doesn't burn.
4.  Add spinach and mushrooms.
5.  Cook until tender.
6.  Drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
7.  Continue to stir for 1-2 minutes.
8.  Add pasta into saute pan.
9.  Drizzle in more olive oil.
10.  Stir well.
11.  Add finely chopped basil.
12.  Add lemon zest.
13.  Remove from heat and serve.

This is an uncomplicated dish that is both satisfying to the stomach and to the eye.  As usual, it's quick and easy to make for the entire family.  I'm rushing to get things done around the house now as Diego is returning today from Outdoor School.  I can't wait to hear all about his adventures!  God be with you and have a blessed Lenten dinner tonight!

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