While I love being in the kitchen, there are times when I just need a quick but nice meal. I have a list of these meals that I keep tucked away for when company shows up unexpectedly or I want a bit of an extra-fancy feel to our average daily meal. Polenta, ravioli, and especially gnocchi tend to be my go-to’s because the meals are filling, beautiful, and easily adapted to what I have on hand at the time.
These recipes often can use store-bought products to speed up the process, such as using wontons for the ravioli and pre-made gnocchi (just make sure to buy freshly made — there is a big flavor difference!)
I have a weakness for ricotta gnocchi. The lightness and flavor is hard to match with their denser cousin, the potato gnocchi. Each version has a place in my kitchen, but I find I reach for the ricotta recipe during spring to pair with the fresh, seasonal flavors.
Store-bought gnocchi makes this a super quick meal but I’ve also been known to make a double batch of homemade gnocchi, freeze the extra, and make a few different gnocchi dishes throughout the month. As for the butter sauce, I’ll mix and match the herbs based on what I have growing at the time so feel free to play around with different flavors!
Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas and Herbed-Lemon Butter
1 recipe Ricotta Gnocchi or 1 pound store-bought gnocchi
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh minced chives
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
1 1/2 cups shelled peas (See Note)
Parmesan cheese, to serve
Bring a large amount of water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Once they bob to the surface, cook for an additional 2 minutes. (Or according to package directions.)
While gnocchi are cooking, melt butter over low heat in a large skillet. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, and herbs. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the shelled peas and stir to coat peas with the butter. Continue cooking until the peas are warm, 3 to 4 minutes.
Drain the gnocchi and add them to the pea mixture. Serve hot with grated parmesan cheese.
If you're unable to find fresh peas or don't want to shell fresh peas, substitute frozen peas. Thaw frozen peas before using.