Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday night dinner: Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

It is freezing here and just about the only thing my lazy ass wants to do is hibernate and eat heavy food. If only I had, say, a marathon to run to give me a good excuse for all my carbo-loading. That's really the only appealing thing to me about running a marathon - the pre-race pasta dinner that the runners eat. I'd happily sign up for that part.

I had clipped this recipe out of a Gourmet magazine quite some time ago, and decided to veganize it. The only part that is at all time-consuming is the lemon zesting. I hate zesting. It's so much work and you have so little to show for it in the end. My arm gets tired. I feel like I'm fighting with the lemons. Maybe I should try a microplane type? My little zester doesn't seem to be cutting it.

I have to say this recipe turned out really well. We wanted to lick the plates clean. I don't know what it is about the combination of lemon, cream, and garlic, but it is heavenly. This dish was hearty and filling but somehow the lemon lifted it up and together with the peas and spinach, made it seem almost spring-like. It was more than worth the effort it took to zest a teaspoon's worth of the lemon. My version of the recipe below:

Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

  • 1 cup frozen baby peas (not thawed)
  • 3/4 cup plain non-dairy creamer (like Silk brand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 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 vegan parmesan
Simmer the peas in a skillet with the cream, red-pepper flakes, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until tender, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook over medium-low heat, about a minute, until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice.*
Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain gnocchi.
Add gnocchi to sauce with cheese and some of reserved cooking water and stir to coat. I used about 1/4 cup of the cooking water, but feel free to add more to thin out the sauce if necessary.
*Don't worry if the sauce looks kind of thin/watery at this point. It thickens up once you add the pasta with the cheese, so that you'll need to thin it out with some of the pasta water.

1 comment:

  1. thanks for teaching me about some delicous recipes! really like them, and the photos are cool too : )