Friday, September 26, 2008

Really, Really Simple Creamy Pesto Gnocchi with Green Beans

I love gnocchi. I order it whenever I am out and it is on the menu. The best gnocchi I've ever had was for my birthday last year when Mr. Snowgoose took me to a local vegetarian restaurant. I actually didn't order the gnocchi, Mr. Snowgoose did, but that didn't stop me from eating his. Since then I've been craving gnocchi.

Much to my delight, the September issue of Real SimpleI Magazine had a recipe for gnocchi.

Since it is from RS this means I didn't have to make the gnocchi by hand, I could buy frozen.

Since the magazine arrived in my mailbox over a month ago I've been walking around with the recipe in my wallet searching for frozen gnocchi. When I lived in Boston I often saw gnocchi at the grocery stores near my house; however, despite that I live near six grocery stores I hadn't been able to find any. Finally, last Friday I found some at Trader Joes in the frozen foods. Chances are, if you live near a large grocery store you should be able to find gnocchi.


1 pound gnocchi (refrigerated or frozen)
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 8-ounce container store-bought pesto (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup ricotta


Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. Drain and return them to the pot.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the green beans and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes; drain.

Add the pesto and cream to the gnocchi and cook over medium heat, stirring, just until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide among bowls and top with the green beans, ricotta, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Substitution: If you can't find gnocchi, try this quick and easy pesto and cream sauce on pasta. Frozen peas are a fine stand-in for green beans.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 631; FAT 37g (sat 13g); CHOLESTEROL 56mg; CARBOHYDRATE 55g; SODIUM 1344mg; PROTEIN 22g; FIBER 6g; SUGAR 7g

Cook's notes:

When I bought the gnocchi I failed to notice that it came with giant frozen chunks of Gorgonzola cheese. It wasn't until Mr. Snowgoose poured the the frozen pasta into the frying pan that we saw it. Since the cheese was giving the gnocchi a creamy consistency, we agreed to skip the cream and it turned out fine.

I would recommend using peas instead of green beans, I think it would have tasted a bit better, though I personally enjoyed the green bean and pesto combo and I don't even like pesto that much.

And it's totally vegetarian.

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