Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gnocchi with Spinach, Peas, and Lemon

This quick, vegetarian gnocchi dish is a staple in my house.  It's a good way to eat some greens if you don't want to make a salad.  The lemon juice adds a great tang to the sauce and compliments the spinach.  I use a little extra lemon juice because I love the flavor it adds.  There's almost no chopping in this recipe, which makes it easy and quick to prepare.  I use frozen gnocchi, I think it tastes better and has a better texture than the vacuum packed stuff.  I added some extra peas to the dish because I'd had them in my freezer for a while and had about 3/4 cup instead of 1/2.  I think it's fine to add more peas, they're good for you. I also added some extra cheese because cheese is awesome.  The recipe calls for using 1/4 cup of reserved pasta cooking water as part of the sauce.  I eyeballed it and didn't use all of the reserved water, I never do when I make this dish.

Gnocchi with Spinach, Peas, and Lemon
Serves 2
Slightly adapted from epicurious

1/2 to 1 cups frozen peas (not thawed)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes (or more to taste if you want more of a kick)
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed with a garlic press
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach (or 1.5 ounces)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3/4 tsp fresh lemon juice (I used a tablespoon and then a few more squeezes after I tasted it)
1/2 lb - 10 oz gnocchi (I prefer frozen)
1/8 -1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1) Boil the gnocchi according to the package.  Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.  Drain and set aside.

2) While the gnocchi is cooking, simmer the peas, cream, red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt in a covered skillet for 5 minutes

3) Add the spinach and continue to cook over medium-low heat, uncovered.  Stir until wilted and then remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.

4) Add the gnocchi to the sauce with the cheese and some of the reserved pasta water.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Add more pasta water if you think the sauce needs it.

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