After holiday dish…

November 27, 2010

Gnocchi di patate con burro e salvia – Gnocchi with butter and sage

Recipe n. 27

After all this cooking and eating on Thanksgiving, probably the last thing you want to do is cook some more. This is a super easy and quick dish, suitable for those days when you are in a hurry, but  still want to have a home made (or at least a semi-home made) dish. Of course, it would be ideal if you would have the time to make your own fresh gnocchi in advance, but since we are talking about being quick and easy, I’m sure that you can get pretty good quality fresh made gnocchi from your favorite food store. There are a couple of places here in the city where I go to buy gnocchi and I’m quite happy with the quality and freshness. I like this dish because even if it’s very easy to make, it still tastes and looks like a fancy course which you could order at any good Italian restaurant. It’s a classic italian recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 to 1 lb  of fresh gnocchi
  • A few leaves of fresh sage  (about 10) shredded
  • 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk ( I like to use rice milk because it’s sweeter and lighter than regular milk)
  • Grated or shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • Salt and Pepper

In a medium sized pot bring the water with some salt to a boil. Add the gnocchi gently and as soon they start to float to the surface, turn the heat to low and drain the water out. Put them back in the same pot and now add the butter, sage, milk and some parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix it all together gently until you have obtained a creamy sauce coating the gnocchi. Transfer to a dish and finish with some shaved Parmesan cheese on top.

PASTA CON CREMA DI SPINACI – PASTA WITH SPINACH SAUCE

Recipe n. 15

When my son was still learning colors, among his big collection of trains from ‘Thomas the tank engine and his friends‘, there was one train in particular which was green. It is a very dark green and for this reason every time we refer to this train we emphasize it calling it the ‘deep dark green train’, exactly the same color as this delicious creamy sauce for pasta, which reminds me of that train. I have been making this sauce for pasta for years. By now it has became part of our recurring family menu. It’s an easy and quick recipe and a light dish to enjoy for lunch or dinner. Sometimes I make this sauce in big batches and freeze it to have it handy on days when you don’t have much time to cook but you don’t want to end up eating take out food.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh spinach washed
  • ¼ cup rice milk (I like to use rice milk instead of regular milk because it’s lighter and gives a sweeter taste to the sauce with no need to add any butter or cream)
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta, optional (I usually make this sauce without ricotta, unless I ‘m having a guest for lunch and want to obtain a richer taste and consistency)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • ¾ lb your favorite short pasta

In a medium sized pot bring the water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Take the spinach from the pot and drain excess water. Put to the side and let it cool. In a food processor add the spinach, rice milk, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Mix to obtain a creamy consistency.  Bring again to a boil the same pot with water you have used to cook the spinach and add pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain the water and in a large bowl mix pasta with the spinach sauce. Add some extra Parmesan cheese to garnish.

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