A delicious, quick and easy gnocchi dinner for two with Mediterranean-inspired ingredients – all in one skillet; a perfect weeknight dinner!
I have not prepared many recipes with gnocchi before, and I’m not sure why that’s the case. It has such a great taste and texture. I have only ever used store-bought prepared gnocchi and I love it, so I can just imagine how great it would taste if I were to make it from scratch. Someday, I’ll give that a try, but for now, store bought will have to do.
If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, it’s basically a form of pasta made from a combination of semolina, regular wheat flour, eggs, cheese, potatoes, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or other ingredients. Sometimes, the gnocchi is seasoned during the preparation process, but mostly the seasoning is added during the cooking process.
Once the dough is made, it’s rolled out into a long cylinder shape about half an inch in diameter. Then the dough is cut into small lengths just short of an inch long. Each length is then meticulously pressed and rolled with a fork to create the familiar ridges you see in your favourite gnocchi dish.
Gnocchi is not only limited to a pasta type dish – although, it’s my favourite way to eat it! Gnocchi works very well in soups in place of pasta. A soup with lots of broth works best, because the gnocchi can cook well in the broth. I think in most cases, gnocchi is prepared much like my One Skillet Mediterranean Gnocchi – in a simple sauce with a few added ingredients.
For my particular recipe, I added lots of fresh spinach, which wilted down very well in the heavy cream sauce. I also added sun dried tomatoes, not only for the colour and the texture, but because they have such a great flavour, and I love them!
And, of course, there’s lots of parmesan cheese – because who doesn’t love cheese? And then just to add a little bit more texture and little pops of crunchiness, I added some toasted pine nuts. Gnocchi is soft and pillow-like, so it can certainly use a little bit of texture and crunch.
I think this dish makes a perfect and complete meal for two people. It’s great for a weeknight dinner option, because it comes together so easily and you can cook the entire dish in one skillet. I don’t know about you, but if there are only a few dishes to wash after a weeknight dinner, I’m completely on board with that!
If you need to feed more, then you can simply double up on the ingredients. This recipe is completely forgiving and will allow for it. Likewise, feel free to add ingredients like black olives, or leave ingredients out if you prefer not to have them. Just don’t change the liquid amounts, because you’ll need those to remain constant if you want gnocchi to cook properly all the way through.
There you go, Dear Reader; a hearty, home style meal that can be on your dinner table in just a short time. Or, if you’re much like us, you can pile the gnocchi into bowls and sit on the couch with your favourite Netflix show. I can’t think of a better way to unwind after a long day at work.
One Skillet Mediterranean Gnocchi
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 350 grams gnocchi
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and cut into thin strips
- 6 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and garlic. Cook until the garlic is slightly golden in colour.
- Pour in the vegetable stock. Add the salt and ground black pepper. Stir.
- Add the gnocchi and stir into the stock mixture. Cook until the gnocchi is tender – about five minutes.
- Next, add the sun dried tomatoes and the spinach leaves. Toss with the gnocchi for a minute or two until the spinach is very slightly wilted.
- Pour in the heavy cream and stir to combine. Once the heavy cream begins to thicken, turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
- Plate, garnish with more parmesan, and serve immediately.