Friday, May 27, 2011
Gnocchi alla Emilia with Caprese Balsamic Salad - Recipe
There are (several) evenings where I return from work, or class, or outings, and I crave a hearty, flavourful, wine-accompanied pasta dinner. Gnocchi pasta is succulent, filling, and delicious. I also could drink Balsamic glaze straight from the bottle, however instead, we will use it as a drizzle for the pasta and some Balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the salad dressing. It is with great passion, and romantic Italian spirit, that I present to you, Gnocchi alla Emilia (me! hehe) with a side of crisp salad to balance the richness of the pasta dish. I have not included a solid source of protein with this recipe, but this allows you to add your choice of chickpeas, tofu, things of that nature.
Gnocchi takes 3 mins to cook, tops. So, we'll bring a pot of water to a boil, but ya don't have to throw the gnocchis in until you're basically done making your sauce. Have your package of whole wheat or spinach gnocchi handy for later, or make your own from a separate online recipe...
To begin, in a skillet/pan on medium heat, fry up a small puddle of olive oil and throw in...
1 garlic clove, chopped
a bit of julienned red onion
some chopped bell peppers
4 chopped basil leaves (or however much you like)
a few dashes of oregano
...Once these ingredients are cooked and soft, you can add your protein if you so choose
Then, reduce heat and add...
1/4 cup basic Marinara sauce (Newman's makes great stuff)
Cracked pepper to taste
1/8 cup fatfree organic yogurt (for creaminess!)
...Stirrrrrr it up. Add gnocchi to the boiling water when your sauce is under control
For the salad...
some torn Romaine lettuce leaves
a few halved cherry tomatoes (they're the cutest!)
3-4 small bulbs of Bufala Mozzarella cheese
...in a separate bowl, pour some olive oil and balsamic vinegar together, and whisk in some pepper and oregano with a fork. Drizzle atop the salad ingredients
Drain your gnocchi, reserving about 1/8 cup of the water. Pour reserved water into sauce, separately. Stir sauce, then remove from stove. Pour over pasta, drizzle with Balsamic glaze (Blaze is a great brand)
Enjoy with a rich, oak-y red wine (a glass...or the whole bottle!)
Muah! Molto Bene!