March 13, 2014

Zucchini & Mushroom Gnocchi

I'm moving everything from the cooking closet [my other blog that has been inactive for over a year] over here to MN365. I'm decluttering. Hope it's not too annoying! (-:


Have you had gnocchi [pronounced nnn-yoh-key, all the "n's" are important so you can place it in your hard palate right behind your front teeth] before? The lovely little potato pasta pillows from heaven?

The first time I had gnocchi was in San Gimignano, Italy on choir tour spring 2005. It was love at first bite.

So if you haven't tried them, and you love carbs [I do!] you should go to the store and pick up a package. They're usually in the "International Food" aisle with the fancy direct-from-Italy pastas. You know the ones.

I think you traditionally eat gnocchi with pesto or a thin light sauce that will just coat and enhance the pillows of goodness, but I'm all about doing what I want in my kitchen.

I pulled five ingredients out of my fridge and cupboard:

pasta sauce [on sale for $1 a jar at Kroger last week! If you're a sauce snob and want to make your own--more power to you, feel free to send me some],
a small zucchini and
mushrooms [on the verge of going bad].

Before you do anything else get a pot of water going, don't forget to salt your water! I'm a fan of using a heavily salted water for my pasta. It just tastes good.

Grate the zucchini and throw it in a pan with a little olive oil.
I wanted to get a little of the moisture out of my zucchini before adding in my chopped mushrooms and garlic. I also added a little salt, onion powder [you could sauté some onions with the zucchini, but I didn't have any onions] and dried basil here.
Let it all cook down and get soft and squishy then add a bit of pasta sauce. Not too much, just a little. We're not soaking our gnocchi with sauce.
Once your water starts boiling add the gnocchi. I used about half a package and put the leftover in the freezer. It takes a few minutes to cook the gnocchi all the way through, when they start to float I give them about 1-2 more minutes and then I take them out of the water.
Throw everything together and toss. If your sauce gets too thick add a little water--the pasta water is great for this!
Start to finish? About 20 minutes. Bada-bing, bada-boom! You're cookin'! Taste it to check your seasonings and add some salt and/or pepper if you need it.
Top with cheese and some fresh basil if you'd like.
I always like to.

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