Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

It is spring break for our family and we are spending the week together skiing.  It is cold outside and snowing periodically throughout the day and night, putting a fresh layer of powder on the ski slopes for us.  My husband and I are alternately staying behind with our 9-month old, so we both can have a chance to spend some quality time skiing with our older kids as well as snuggling with our baby.  Today while the rest of my family was skiing, I roasted some chickens and made a couple of side dishes.  This Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas was one of them.  I classify this dish as pure comfort food, and I had a hard time not eating the entire dish before everyone returned back to the cabin.

I can honestly tell you that this was one of the easiest and quickest pasta dishes that I have ever made.  From start to finish, I needed 10 minutes.  Better yet, the outcome was phenomenal.  The lemon juice and zest are what take this recipe to the next level from satisfying to delicious.  I would not recommend omitting the red pepper flakes, only the faintest hint is apparent with the amount listed, but it adds another level of flavor to the dish.  If you would like to decrease calories, substitute an equal amount of half-n-half for the heavy cream.  Additionally, if you would like to turn this into a meal instead of a side, double the amount of spinach and add sauteed pancetta and mushrooms.

1 cup frozen peas, unthawed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups packed baby spinach (3 ounces)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound gnocchi
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Place peas, heavy cream, red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt in 12-inch skillet.  Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, until peas are tender, about 3-5 minutes

2.  Add spinach to skillet and cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring, until wilted.  Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and lemon juice..

3.  Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, for fresh gnocchi about 3 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup of water, and then drain gnocchi.

4.  Add gnocchi, 1-2 tablespoons of reserved water, and Parmesan cheese to skillet with peas and spinach.  Stir to coat adding additional reserved water if necessary to thin consistency. 

5.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Top with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.

Recipe adapted from
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This recipe is linked to Favorite Things Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Foodie Friday, and I'm Lovin' It.


Winelady Cooks said...

Hi, I came from Foodie Friday. I'm a gnocchi lover and have a few easy dishes that are easy to prepare as well. Thanks for sharing.


Mamahollioni said...

Thanks Joanne. I would love to have more gnocchi recipes. I'll stop by and check out what you have.:-)