In the last year, I’ve been experimenting with more recipes that use gnocchi. The gnocchi is always my favorite part of Chicken & Gnocchi Soup, but I didn’t realize there would be many ways to use it.
I love the texture of gnocchi, with their pillowy-soft texture and perfect bite-sized pieces. And of course, I will eat almost anything with potatoes, so gnocchi are right up my alley.
Now that I’ve been looking, there are multiple options for gnocchi. Everything from merely cooking the gnocchi with butter and sage (thought to be the original way it was made) to putting it in a red sauce similar to spaghetti to cooking it in soups to toasting it with spinach.
Gnocchi can be made in a few ways, typically from potato or wheat flour with egg, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or other similar ingredients. You can get them either plain or flavored with seasonings. Gnocchi are Italian in origin and dates back to the Roman era. The singular form of the word is gnoccho, but since there is usually a group of them, that word is hardly ever used. Gnocchi is believed to be the predecessor of other kinds of pasta.
Originally, gnocchi were made with soft wheat flour, but that didn’t give a uniform texture. Once it was discovered that potatoes gave a better texture, most started to make their gnocchi with potatoes, and the flour versions weren’t common anymore. Potato gnocchi started around the 16th-17th century after the Spanish brought potatoes to Italy from South America.
I am quickly learning that gnocchi are as versatile as any other type of pasta, maybe even more.
When we made this recipe the first time, the lemon was a little overpowering for us. Since then I cut back on the lemon juice to be more of a garnish, and it tasted much better. If you like a lot of lemon flavor, then go ahead and increase the amount to one tablespoon of lemon juice.
You can use this as a light meatless main dish, or as an appetizer or side for other meals.
Step by Step
To start the recipe, heat two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the gnocchi. Stir occasionally until the gnocchi start to brown on the outside, about 10 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and thyme and stir for one minute. Then mix in the chicken broth, salt, and pepper, bringing it to a simmer.
Cook everything until the liquid has reduced by half, which takes about 5 minutes. Then add the spinach, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and the last two tablespoons of butter. Stir constantly until the spinach has wilted and the butter is melted.
Top with parmesan cheese and serve immediately because this will cool very quickly.
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Toasted Gnocchi with Spinach
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 pkg potato gnocchi
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 5 oz spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat
- Add the gnocchi to the pan and stir occasionally until they are browned, about 10 minutes
- Add the minced garlic and thyme, stirring for about one minute
- Mix in the chicken broth, salt, and pepper and bring to a simmer, cooking until reduced by half, about 5 minutes
- Add the spinach, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and last 2 tbsp of butter
- Stir constantly until the spinach has wilted and the butter is melted
- Top with parmesan and serve immediately