Gnocchi with Goat Cheese and Spinach

Gnocchi is one of my all-time favorite pastas. And although it is supposed to be heavy and filling I still manage to eat well more than a single serving (which if you have seen me eat before, is not really all that surprising). I suppose my stomach is extra muscular in order to manage the potato weight. Or you could be like many of my friends and claim I have a tapeworm. Whatever the reason, it is irresistible. Especially once you have some freshly made – the vacuum packed unrefrigerated kind just doesn’t compare. Unfortunately I don’t get around to making it myself on a regular basis, but if you’re lucky it can be found at your local Italian grocery. Valenza Pasta in Memphis, TN is my go-to place for gnocchi, as well as for other Italian items. They make all of their pasta on-site and is then flash-frozen to retain freshness. Also, there are a few pre-cooked frozen meals which I have yet to try but have heard many great things.

This recipe I found while browsing the Target website and noticed that Giada de Laurentiis has her own cookware. It was a sample recipe for one of her baking dishes, originally titled Baked Gnocchi. However, I did not feel like the title gave full credit to this dish. Since I changed it up slightly I decided to rename it to at least include the other significant players. Usually I serve this dish with chicken, but last night was the Lab-Holiday dinner and there was plenty of food to go around as to not worry about adding extra protein to my dish. I did double the recipe to make sure there was enough, but what I have posted here is the regular-sized version.

I also must add that before I cooked this dish I was never too keen on goat cheese. That all changed after one bite.

Ingredients:

1-17 oz package potato gnocchi

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsp flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

3 oz fresh baby spinach

4 oz goat cheese with garlic and herbs

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook gnocchi until they float (or according to package directions); drain.
  3. Place in a lightly greased baking dish.
  4. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cream, chicken broth and flour over medium heat.
  5. Continue whisking until simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add spinach and toss to coat.
  7. Pour mixture over the gnocchi and spread the spinach to cover.
  8. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and sprinkle with parmesan.
  9. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.

Source: Giada de Laurentiis

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