Sunday, January 4, 2009
I have to give the disclaimer right away that this is not a low-calorie meal. I never claimed to be helping anyone with their new year's resolutions. This meal is, however, filled with complex carbs (good thing), protein (good thing) and iron (also a good thing). So you might be able to justify the calories and the fat with the above. I did adjust the recipe to make it far less fattening than the original, but I wasn't about to remove all the tastiness. Anyway, it's delicious and comforting. And that's what counts.
It's like a grown-up mac and cheese, only instead of macaroni we're talking about gnocchi - delightful little pillows of potato that are so underrated that someone should be arrested. Luckily we have Giada De Laurentiis to help introduce them to us in an extremely approachable way. If you choose to make the gnocchi from scratch, be my guest. (Mark Bittman has a great-sounding recipe in his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian book). I bought my gnocchi at the store.
Also, if you don't like goat cheese (!) you might substitute some other flavorful cheese, such as aged white cheddar or maybe even smoked mozzarella.
Adapted from Everyday Pasta by Giada de Laurentiis
1 package potato gnocchi
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups skim or low fat milk
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken (or veggie) broth
1/8 cup all purpose flour (I used whole wheat as usual)
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper
pinch of grated nutmeg
5 ounces baby spinach
1 1/2 ounces fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place gnocchi in a lightly greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cream, milk, broth, and flour over medium heat. Continue whisking until the sauce is simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Add spinach and toss to coat in the cream. Pour the cream and spinach mixture over the gnocchi evenly, spreading the spinach out to cover all the potato dumplings.
4. Crumble goat cheese over the spinach. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is golden in places, about 30 minutes.
The result is gooey, rich and amazing. And the spinach helps to offset the creaminess so you can actually tell yourself you're eating something with nutrients in it. (Although that was the only part my husband didn't like....)