So today's meatless meal takes a bit more work than usual, I know. But the payoff is incredible. Last week Stearns showed me how to make gnocchi. (We used Smitten Kitchen's recipe, so just head over there for the how-to's.) And it was great fun. I have literally only kneaded something twice in my life, so I had to learn every step of the way. But the recipe is clear and easy to follow, and it is a thrilling thing to dive into and conquer.
This makes a lot of gnocchi. Unless you're feeding an army, cook what you want for dinner (8-10 dumplings per person) and then pop the rest on a cookie sheet, and stick it in the freezer. After about twenty minutes they are frozen enough to be transferred to a tupperware container in the freezer. No need to thaw before cooking--just allow for a couple extra minutes in the water.
For sauce, well, really, you could make anything. That night we caramelized some onions, wilted spinach in white wine, and mixed it all together with bacon. Clearly, that's not meatless, but it would be delicious without the bacon, too. A classic sauce for gnocchi is pesto. And you know how much I love pesto. Above, I used a touch of really good olive oil, salt, pepper, pecorino, and some fried onions. Really, any sauce would do.
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