Learning As I Chop

Dinner for One

Posted in Baking/Cooking by R @ Learning As I Chop on March 10, 2011

H was out last night so I used the opportunity to make whatever I wanted. Normally I love making dinner for both us, but sometimes it’s fun to cook with no other tastebuds in mind. A quick perusal through Epicurious lead me to this lovely pasta recipe. Peas + pasta + cream + lemon = I was sold.

Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas Gourmet | December 2007

The zing of fresh lemon enhances both the peas’ sweetness and the natural flavor of the spinach. The whole quick, creamy dish is bolstered by soft pillows of potato gnocchi.

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 10 min
Total Time: 20 min
1 cup frozen baby peas (not thawed)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, smashed
3 cups packed baby spinach (3 ounces)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound dried gnocchi (preferably De Cecco)
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Simmer peas with cream, red-pepper flakes, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet, covered, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add spinach and cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, stirring, until wilted. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest and juice.

Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts 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. Thin with additional cooking water if necessary.

Rather than gnocchi, I decided to go for something lighter and use cavatelli instead. Have you ever had it? If not, go out and try some right away. Delicious.  Feeling confident from the other night, I also ditched the measuring spoons and cups and eyeballed my measurements. This included taking some liberties and doubling the amount of peas. Honestly, you can never have enough. A sea of peas…

This dish is easy, quick and delicious. It’s also pretty versatile – have the pasta on its own or as a side. An Epicurious reviewer even served it as a course in between the soup and meat. I’m thinking this dish would also work for kids – an easy way to eat vegggies without the boredom. Regardless, I definitely recommend it. Perfect for a girl’s night in. Enjoy!


2 Responses

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  1. tchizzle said, on March 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

    This looks and sounds so amazing to me! I love peas and hiding spinach in pasta. Will definitely try this out!

  2. Marcus Neiman said, on March 11, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Next time H is out, give me a call. That looks delicious!

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