Monthly Archives: November 2014

Gnocchi Two Ways

So how do you even say this word, “gnocchi”? Is it pronounced “nocky” or maybe “nyocky” or even “nyoocky”? However you say it, these potato pasta nuggets, teamed with just the right sauce, can be pretty yummy. Mind you, I’ve had my share of uninspired gnocchi dishes. There is an annual dining event in Vancouver, held in late January, called Dine Out Vancouver. Dozens of restaurants around town participate offering special three course meals. Over the years I’ve noticed more attention being paid to gluten-free diners, vegetarians and, most recently, vegan eaters. Most Dine Out menus will offer a vegetarian option and/or ways to make meals gluten-free or vegan. I sometimes wonder if the restaurants do some kind of colluding as the special menu options are often quite similar. Gnocchi makes an appearance on the menus of several restaurants – it fits the bill as gluten-free and vegan. I’ve ordered this meal a couple of times, however, I’ve always been disappointed. I find that you need a pretty saucy sauce to carry the gummy dryness of gnocchi and the gnocchi presentations I’ve experienced have really missed the boat on that saucy sauce. I don’t order gnocchi at restaurants anymore. Why would I when I can make it deliciously better at home? I showed you how my lovely avocado pesto pairs well with gnocchi in this post. Today I’d like to share some more tasty gnocchi combos.

Oh, I should mention, that “Tom” and I have been enjoying Gnocchetti which are mini gnocchi. We’ve been able to find a brand that has no weird preservatives or dairy and we try to keep a couple of packages regularly available in our cupboard. One day, maybe very soon, I’m going to try my hand at homemade gnocchi, but for now, we’re content with the store bought.

Pesto Primavera Gnocchi

(unfortunately, no picture because we ate it all before I could whip out the camera)!

1 recipe Basil Avocado Pesto

1 small onion, finely diced

1 medium carrot, finely diced

1/2 zucchini, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

about 7 button mushrooms or 3 or 4 baby ‘bella mushrooms, finely diced

several large handfuls of spinach, chopped

1 packet of Gnocchetti or Gnocchi

Prepare the Basil Avocado Pesto and set aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil.

Water saute the onion by putting the diced onion in a pan on medium-high heat and pouring in a tbsp water as onion begins to stick to pan. Continue to saute, adding a bit of water to prevent sticking, for several minutes. Add the carrot, zucchini and pepper and continue to saute, adding a bit of water to prevent sticking. Add the mushrooms and saute until mushrooms release their moisture and all the vegetables are cooked. Turn heat to low and stir in the spinach. Continue stirring until the spinach is wilted and incorporated into the rest of the vegetables.

Add the Gnocchetti or Gnocchi into the boiling water (I like to open the package and dump the Gnocchetti/Gnocchi into a bowl and break all the nuggets apart first). Simmer for a couple of minutes until the nuggets rise to the surface and float. Drain in a colander.

Transfer the Gnocchetti/Gnocchi to a large bowl. Add several dollops of Basil Avocado Pesto (about 1/2 the recipe), toss. Add the sauteed vegetables and toss everything together.

Serve with a big green salad. You can even use the Basil Avocado Pesto as a salad dressing.

Mediterranean Gnocchi

(I do have pictures of this dish, but the quality is poor. Supper is prepared and eaten after daylight hours these days so the lighting is artificial and not very good for photography).

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1 recipe Basil Avocado Pesto

1/2 red onion, finely diced

5 artichokes, chopped

7 black olives, chopped

4 sundried tomatoes, soaked and chopped

1 roasted red pepper, chopped

several handfuls of spinach, chopped

a handful of fresh basil

2 or 3 tbsps white wine

black pepper

1 package Gnocchetti/Gnocchi

Prepare the Basil Avocado Pesto and set aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil.

In a frying pan, water saute the red onion by adding the onion to a hot pan and adding 1 tbsp water when the onion begins to stick to the pan. Saute for a few minutes, then add the artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes, red pepper. Continue to saute and stir and add a bit of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Add the spinach, basil and white wine and saute and stir until spinach is wilted, everything is well mixed together and the alcohol from the wine has cooked off. Add a few grinds of black pepper.

Cook the Gnocchetti/Gnocchi in the boiling water until the nuggets rise to the surface. Drain in a colander then transfer to a big bowl. Add about 1/2 the Basil Avocado Pesto and toss well. Add the sauteed vegetables and toss until everything is mixed together.

Serve with salad.

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