Sunday, April 22, 2012

Meatless Monday...Homemade Gnocchi and Sweet Peas in a Light Garlic Sauce

I have always been fascinated with gnocchi. I have to admit the first time I had them was at Olive Garden, in the chicken gnocchi soup and I thought they were amazing. They have been on my list of experiments for a while, but I just needed some inspiration. I had some leftover mashed potatoes that I didn't know what to do with, so I decided to turn them into gnocchi! (I would suggest to start with plain potatoes if you have them though!)

For those of you who are not familiar with gnocchi, they are Italian dumplings. The ingredients can vary depending on the region they are from. Many are made with potatoes, flour, and egg and shaped like a pillow ( some have lovely ridges imprinted onto them). They can also be made with ricotta and flour and have vegetables added to them (spinach, broccoli, mushrooms). I experimented with a few different shapes just for fun, but never got the ridges down, they were trickier than they look!

These froze really well, which was good because this batch made far more than I needed! To freeze them: place on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from the freezer and put into a large ziploc bag or portion them into smaller ziploc bags. They will stay good for ~3 months, whenever you get a craving for a comforting dinner. I made a creamy chicken sauce to serve them with, but they work great with a marinara sauce or just with garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese!

Gnocchi and Sweet Peans with Garlic Sauce
Serves 8

Gnocchi: Makes 3 dozen
2 pounds baking potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
2 beaten egg yolks
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350, poke a few holes in them to let the hot air out. Bake for 45 minutes, cut them open and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

2. Scoop out the potato from the skin and mash with a fork or put through a potato ricer.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand until you have a formed ball.
4. Dust your work area with flour. Take a piece of the dough and roll it into a long, thin "snake".
5. Cut the dough into pieces about 1" long.
6. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Place the gnocchi into the pot and cook until they rise to the top, cook for additional 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve with sauce.

Light Garlic Sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cup reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup frozen peas
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add broth and simmer for 5 minutes, add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Toss gnocchi with the sauce and vegetables and serve warm. To complete the meal, serve with a fresh side salad.

Nutrition Facts: 400 calories, 80 g carbohydrates, 12 g protein, 4 g fat, 12 g fiber, 150 mg sodium

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