Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

It's been a pretty crazy week with Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday services, oh, and midterm exams. So when this gnocchi didn't get made for dinner on Wednesday, I ended up making it for lunch on Thursday because I really didn't want the spinach to go bad. This was an incredibly delicious meal full of flavor. I could have eaten much more of it, but I stopped myself.

For Lent, I've chosen to go pescatarian. It's something I've been tending towards more and more, and being mindful of how animals raised for food are often treated, not to mention the meat industry's impact on the environment, I want to keep that in mind and tread lightly on God's creation. So my blog will have many more pescatarian/vegetarian-friendly meals coming soon! It will also be a good challenge for me culinarily as I try to keep both Joe and myself interested and not revert to pasta every night.

Anyway, whether or not you're pesca-/vegetarian, I think you'll love the flavors in this dish. The lemon gives it a light, bright taste, and the cream makes it silky on the tongue. The crushed red pepper gives it a little punch that contrasts nicely and adds some excitement to the dish. Plus, did I mention it's really easy to throw together?

Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas
adapted: Epicurious

  • 1 cup frozen baby peas (not thawed)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach (3 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • lemon juice from half a medium lemon
  • 1 pound gnocchi
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Simmer peas with cream, red-pepper flakes, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add spinach and cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice.

Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain gnocchi.

Add gnocchi to sauce with cheese and some of reserved cooking water and stir to coat. Thin with additional cooking water if necessary.


Liz said...

I love lemon and gnocchi!

Anonymous said...

The combination of lemon and spinach with the gnocchi sounds delicious!

Cate said...

I've pretty much given up red meat (beef in particular) because of the environmental concerns...and the more I read about the awful effects of overfishing, the more I'm leaning towards just going completely vegetarian! This recipe looks fantastic and I'm sure you don't miss meat at all. Plus these days I'm ALL about crushed red pepper!

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