How have I not written about this meal yet? This meal is regularly requested and I try to keep the ingredients on hand as it is a great way to use up a green that has been sitting around a little too long. I tend to make this recipe most often with spinach, but I have been known to toss in some chard, kale, arugula, or even collard greens.
This recipe is definitely worthy of being a Treasure Chest Thursday post. This is one of those simple meals that has just the right amount of flavor. It is quick and easy to prepare making it a great weeknight (aka school night) meal.
As I am writing this post I really hope my search feature is working, as I could have sworn I have already posted this recipe but each time I have searched it comes up empty for gnocchi. I guess I have written it in my head more than once because as I am typing the thoughts sound too familiar. I have always been a fan of gnocchi since I first had it in a pesto dish years ago. It has also been one of those items I swear I will try and make one day, but last winter I tried what I thought would be the easier version of gnocchi to make – gnudi. Well turns out either I totally bombed the recipe or I really did not like gnudi.
I have never seen gnudi on a menu but I keep telling myself I have to try it again and try it somewhere out to see if it was me, the recipe or if I am just not a fan of gnudi. Gnudi is really just gnocchi made with ricotta rather than potato. The mere switch to ricotta, an ingredient I love makes me worried it was me rather than the gnudi. I have never brought myself to make gnocchi as I am not a big fan of complex recipes with a lot of steps. Really to make gnocchi you then have to also prepare a meal using it. Not my favorite type of cooking. Besides after the gnudi incident a part of me thought maybe store bought is just what I prefer when it comes to pasta. Now don’t get me wrong I have had fresh made gnocchi as well as the vacuum packed that is great for keeping on hand and I like them both. It is just another excuse I keep giving myself on why I do not want to try to make gnocchi from scratch.
Enough of my gnocchi and gnudi tangent. Okay one last thing what fun words. I wonder if anyone has ever named their animals gnocchi and gnudi – filing that idea away for when I finally have to give in to a fish or something that comes in pairs. I can just picture two cute little dogs with those names, but we have one cute little dog now and that is ample, especially since she is not high on my list this morning. Really now enough on to the recipe that is a treasure chest recipe in our house.
Gnocchi with Spinach & Pine Nuts
1 pkg gnocchi (16oz.)*
6 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts**
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 – 2 bags Fresh Baby Spinach
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, optional
Parmesan Cheese, as desired
Cook Gnocchi in boiling water according to package directions, about 5 minutes. Omit any salt or oil. Drain.
In a skillet over medium heat melt butter and cook approximately 3-5 minutes stirring constantly. The butter needs to start to turn golden brown. Add garlic and pine nuts to pan and continuing stirring for 1 minute. Add gnocchi and spinach and cook stirring occasionally until spinach wilts. Season with pepper if desired. I like to decrease my stirring once spinach is almost wilted and try to get the gnocchi to brown slightly. Serve with parmesan cheese on top as desired.
* I prefer whole wheat gnocchi, but any type works
** I use pre toasted pine nuts from Trader Joe’s, but if yours are not toasted add the pine nuts with the butter so they toast while the butter is browning.
Adapted from a recipe that appeared in Cooking Light Magazine