Posted by: Joe Nuss on Jul 27, 2011
Herb Gnocchi with Sautéed Spinach and Charred Cherry Tomatoes
By Brandon McDearis
This month’s recipe is a bit of a splurge, but it is usually worth it. Instead of carb loading on heaps of pasta the night before a big race, have some fun making these gnocchi. They can be a little time-consuming to produce, but they freeze well and the result is worth the effort. Even though this meal is a little starchy, the potatoes and the herbs provide nutrients that you won’t find in a box of pasta and if prepared correctly it can even be a healthy addition to the diet when eaten in moderation.
- 2 pounds starchy potatoes
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 bunch parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 sprig rosemary (finely chopped)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups spinach (packed tightly)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon butter (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Boil the whole potatoes until soft (about 45 minutes). Peel while still warm and pass through a ricer or vegetable mill into a large bowl.
- Boil 1.5 gallons of water in a large stockpot. While water is coming to a boil, set up an ice bath of 6 cups of ice and 6 cups of water beside the stove.
- Make a well in the center of the potatoes and sprinkle all over with the flour. Place egg yolks, herbs and spices in the center of the well and mix egg mixture into potatoes and flour with a fork as if you were making regular pasta.
- Once everything is well blended and dough has formed a ball, roll it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead like bread dough for about 3-5 minutes, until the dough is dry to the touch. Up to 1 more cup of flour may be needed during this step, depending on how moist and starchy your potatoes were to begin with.
- Cut hunks of dough off and roll into 3/4-inch diameter dowels that resemble snakes and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces. Drop the pieces in the boiling water and cook until they float (about 1 minute). As they rise to the top, scoop them out and put them in the ice bath. Let sit a few minutes in the ice bath and then drain.
- Meanwhile, be heating up a sauté pan with the 1 tablespoon of olive oil at medium-high heat. Drop tomatoes in the pan, and toss for about 20-30 seconds until you see a little color on them. Then, add about 2-3 cups of your gnocchi to the pan and continue to sauté for about 1 minute until they begin to lightly color and heat through. Feel free to add a little more olive oil if your pan looks too dry.
- Finally, add the white wine to the pan along with the spinach. Continue tossing until spinach is wilted and wine has cooked down. Remove from heat and toss with butter and Parmesan. Adjust seasoning to your preference and serve.
Note: This recipe makes 8-12 servings. If you are not going to serve the whole batch at once, lay the gnocchi out on a greased pan and freeze. Once frozen, they can be stored in a freezer bag or plastic container in the freezer for a few months.
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Calories: 225 / Fat: 8 grams / Saturated Fat: 3 grams / Carbohydrates: 38 grams / Fiber: 3 grams / Protein: 7 grams
# # #
Brandon McDearis is a personal chef working in the Charlotte area. He owns and operates Your Way Cuisine, http://www.yourwaycuisine.com. In addition to his culinary training, Brandon holds a bachelor of science degree in foods and nutrition, with a concentration in dietetics. He primarily focuses on healthy cooking and addressing specific dietary needs of everyone from professional and amateur athletes, to busy families and elderly people.