I can’t stand monotony when it comes to food. However, I could eat pasta every day for days at a time and never get bored. Not considering all the different ways it can be prepared, there are just so many different shapes — from long and flat to short and hollow. And then there’s gnocchi.
While gnocchi could be categorized as a potato dumpling rather than what we think of as traditional pasta, it's so much more than a simple dumpling. These bites of chewy clouds are as versatile as their pasta brethren. They’re dense enough to carry a heavy sauce, and delicate enough to hold their own in a tomato or light wine sauce. In my experience, the thing to keep in mind when figuring out what to make gnocchi with is variety of texture.
Although gnocchi is delicious enough to just have on its own in whatever sauce you’re feeling at the moment, it’ll sit like a potato-y brick at the bottom of your stomach after a while, and you may get bored working through the same chewiness for a whole meal. That’s why I like to add a spectrum of veggie texture when I'm making a dish with gnocchi.
This recipe in particular definitely does that. The brightness and crunchiness of the asparagus, and the sweet pop you get from the peas create a pleasant clash of textures and flavors in your mouth, especially when bathed in a gorgonzola cream. Making this recipe can fly right by, so make sure to have everything prepped before you start cooking.
Serves 4 to 6
1-pound package gnocchi
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup peas, frozen
1 1/2 cups gorgonzola, crumbled
1 cup heavy cream
Bring a pot of salted water to boiling. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high and sauté shallots until translucent.
Add asparagus, cooking about 5 minutes, just until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl.
Pour cream into pan. Reduce heat to medium heat. Add gorgonzola, stirring until melted. Reduce heat to low. Just before you're draining the gnocchi, add peas and stir.
Drain gnocchi and immediately add to cream sauce. Mix until coated, then add asparagus and shallots to pan. Toss to combine. Cook until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Season to taste with salt before serving.
(Image credits: Karla Conrad)