As I have related previously, I am a succher for gnocchi. I love them with pesto; I love them with gorgonzola. I love them in a box and with a fox.

Until recently, I believed that the only way to cook them, though, was boiled.  I was wrong. You can also toast them in a skillet until they are as browned and crispy on the outside as they are creamy and pillowy on the inside. In other words, they can be even better than I thought possible.

In a house, with a mouse.

This recipe even purports to be healthy! I think it reaches that result, though, only by claiming that it serves six—which is, frankly, ridiculous. But these gnocchi—nestled in a creamy sauce—are so good that I can see how they might have induced delusions.

Skillet gnocchi with chard and beans
Adapted from Eating Well

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
6 cups chopped chard leaves (1 small bunch) or spinach
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15-ounce can white beans or chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons creme fraiche (optional, but makes the sauce even more creamy and lovely)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for about 8 minutes, until onion is beginning to brown.  Stir in garlic and cook one minute. Add water and tomato paste, and stir to dissolve tomato paste in liquid. Add chard and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in beans and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi, mozzarella and parmesan, and creme fraiche.  Cook until cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 3-4.

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