Last night's dinner was a filling vegetarian skillet dish starring one of our favorite starches, potato gnocchi. Usually, gnocchi is boiled and served like pasta. In this recipe, it is not boiled but sauteed until brown and crisp on the outside. I was skeptical, but the technique worked, and it was really good. Even my littlest gnocchi lover, who frowned when she saw all the other ingredients in the skillet, ate a bowlful.
You could do all sorts of tweaking to this recipe: use a different green like broccoli rabe, or add some leftover marinara sauce, sun-dried tomatoes or even kalamata olives. I also think it would be good with cubes of extra-firm tofu standing in for the gnocchi. Use your imagination.
One thing's for sure: the leftovers will make a wonderful lunch this cold afternoon.
Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans adapted from Eating Well magazine Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup water or broth 6 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 small bunch) or spinach 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I did not use) ¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. 2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes. Serve.