Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables & Basil

This recipe was inspired by a dish called Pasta Athena that I enjoyed with my friend Karen at the Garden Gourmet in Charlottesville, Virginia in the early 1990s. It's also based loosely on some of the pasta dishes in Annie Somerville's excellent book, "Fields of Greens." But it's not exactly like any of those. I serve it with garlic shrimp for my husband and Trader Joe's vegetarian meatballs for me.

1 package Trader Joe's shelf-stable gnocchi (1/2 lb or so)
3 Tbsp olive oil
10 oz. white mushrooms, slices
1/2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup white wine
1 small to medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1 package baby spinach (3-4 cups)
2 medium size tomatoes, chopped
up to 1 oz fresh basil, cut into ribbons
2 Tbsp pine nuts
pepper to taste

Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it's ready, cook the gnocchi according to package directions.

In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms over medium high heat with 1/4 tsp salt. When the mushrooms are golden and almost crisp on the edges, add the wine and garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes. Stir in the zucchini and the rest of the salt, and cook until the zucchini softens. Then stir in the spinach, tomatoes, and pine nuts, and continue to stir until spinach is wilted and all is heated through. Stir in the basil and pepper to taste.

Combine the drained gnocchi with vegetable mixture and serve immediately.

No comments: