Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gratineed Gnocchi with Spinach

I love gnocchi. It's one of my absolute favorite Italian pastas. If I go out to eat and gnocchi is on the menu, it is a no-brainer that is what I am ordering. I was excited to find this recipe on Epicurious yesterday to fix my constant gnocchi cravings. An added bonus was that I was able to use my black skillet in the oven for a nice broiled cheese.

It didn't disappoint. I didn't have 15 oz of spinach, more like 8 oz. The dish was missing the extra spinach. It was very, very rich from the heavy cream and and all the cheese (and as usual, I put in more cheese that what was called). I think next time, I'll be sure to use all the spinach called for and less ricotta than it calls for. I may also play around with the cream sauce to see if less of that makes it less rich (thus, allowing me to eat more!). I think gnocchi can stand up pretty well by itself without it needing to be drowned in anything. You can click here for a link to the Epicurious recipe (I like reading other people's reviews before I cook something) or you can just check out the mostly original recipe below...

As for the kids? J ate it great, spinach and all. M didn't surprise us by not eating any of it. She has tried several different gnocchis with different sauces and has yet to like any of it. She had jelly bread and carrots for supper. Curtis and I thought it was great, although a little rich.

Gratineed Gnocchi with Spinach
1 (1-lb) package gnocchi (found in the dried pasta section of most HEB's, etc)
2/3 c heavy cream
1/2 t all purpose flour
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
15 oz baby spinach or regular spinach (coarsely chop the regular spinach)
1/2 c part-skim ricotta
2/3 c shredded mozzarella
1/4 c Parmesan, grated

Preheat broiler. Cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling water according to package instructions (you will know the gnocchi is done when it floats to the surface). Drain in a colander. Whisk together cream, flour, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a 12 inch ovenproof skillet (a cast-iron black skillet is perfect!), then bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking. Continue to boil, whisking frequently until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach in handfuls, tossing with tongs, and cook until wilted, 2 - 4 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in gnocchi. Spoon ricotta over gnocchi in 5 large dollops and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Broil 4 - 6 inches from heat until cheese is browned and bubbling in spots, about 2 - 4 minutes. Season with pepper.

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