Looking for a new and different gnocchi dishes? This one combines it with peas, spinach and lovely lemon cream sauce. A great, fresh Spring dish!
A few weeks ago, I found myself staring at a package of store-bought gnocchi and wondering if I could easily turn it into something a little different for dinner.
After some searching, I came upon this recipe from Gourmet magazine. Since I had all the ingredients, I set about making it. A short 20 minutes later, I was eating it and what a lovely surprise it was. It was such a lovely and fresh way to enjoy gnocchi and I really wanted to highlight it here for you.
To start, this dish requires only a few ingredients and begins with always easy, store-bought gnocchi. After boiling the gnocchi for just 2 minutes, it heads to a skillet, where it joins peas, spinach, a bit of Red pepper flakes, to spice things up a little and a handful of Parmesan. It's all cooked up together in an easy, creamy lemon sauce.
This is the perfect dish for those nights when you want a nice dinner, but want it quickly and easily. Starting with store-bought gnocchi and frozen peas takes care of that.
Cook's Notes for Gnocchi with Peas, Spinach and Lemon
Instead of boiling a large, tall pot of water to boil the gnocchi, like you would typically do for pasta, use a low, wide pot, such as a high-sided skillet type pot. The wider, shallower pot will boil the water much more quickly and you can get the gnocchi in and out without sitting and waiting for a large pot of water to boil.
Seasoning well is important with this dish. Be sure to salt the water you boil the gnocchi in well. Season the finished dish well with salt and freshly ground pepper, to really bring the flavours together.
While you can use a lower fat cream here, keep in mind that the lower fat the cream, the more likely it will "break" or curdle when combined with an acid, such as the lemon juice used here. The result will be a sauce that will have flecks of curdled cream in a less creamy overall sauce.
Recipe adapted from a Gourmet Magazine 2007 recipe.
Gnocchi with Peas, Spinach and Lemon
- 1 cup baby peas (frozen, unthawed)
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 1 garlic clove (smashed)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups baby spinach (packed)
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 lb gnocchi (shelf-stable or dried)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan (grated)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously.
- While waiting for the water to boil: In a large skillet, bring the frozen peas, cream, red pepper flakes garlic and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until peas are tender, about 5 minutes. *If your skillet doesn't have a lid, place a large baking sheet over-top of the skillet to cover. Be careful removing. It gets hot!
- Remove lid from the skillet and add the spinach. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until the spinach is wilted. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
- When water is boiling, add gnocchi and boil until gnocchi floats to the top, about 2 minutes. Remove gnocchi to skillet with a large slotted spoon (reserving the gnocchi cooking water). Add Parmesan to the skillet as well as splash of the gnocchi cooking water. Return the skillet to the heat and cook, stirring, until just re-warmed through, adding a bit more gnocchi cooking water if necessary to thin out the sauce.
- Spoon into bowls. Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper and garnish with a bit more lemon zest, if you like.