Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spinach Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Some stuff when you're growing up you just love to death and some stuff you learn or grow to like or even love as you get older. But, some stuff you hated as a kid, you hated as a teenager and you struggle with it as an adult. That's me and spinach! I know, I know...spinach is good for me, makes you strong, just ask Popeye!

Popeye needing his strength to beat Brutus
found in the public domain (Wikimedia Commons)

Don't get me wrong, I've posted a bunch of spinach recipes here for my friends and especially my veggie pals but still I have to really try to include it more in my own diet, When I go shopping, I'd just assume pick up a head of cabbage before reaching for the spinach. But the darker greens have more nutrients and vitamins - still I just like cabbage a little more. So, to make picky, finicky spinach eaters like myself eat it more, how bout mixing it with pasta and cheese sauce? maybe that might spark some interest! I even think hubby would go for this because he just adores white pasta sauces!

I believe just about any vegetable that you or even your kids don't like much would taste good if you melt cheese over it and you can't go wrong with pasta in the bowl either. So before I go into this recipe, let's quickly explore this darker green and some of its essentials:

I found this in WikiAnswers: "Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc and vitamin E. In addition, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium."
And, if you want to do a nutritional comparison between cooked, raw, and frozen spinach, click here!

One small drawback to using fresh spinach in cooking is that it cooks down so much so in a lot of recipes, the frozen kind is used more as in this recipe and I don't think you lose a lot of the vitamins. However, fresh is wonderful in salads! So, let's put on some muscle and eat mor' spinach! hee hee

1 lb. frozen gnocchi
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2-3 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
8 oz. heavy cream
1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs
8 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Cook gnocchi till tender. Meanwhile in large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add chopped spinach, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper and saute 2-3 minutes. Then add the heavy cream and heat till thickened. In a separate pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add bread crumbs. Toast lightly. Drain gnocchi and add to spinach cream mixture. Toss together to coat and mix in crumbled gorgonzola cheese and top with toasted bread crumbs. Serve.

Note: I love nutmeg, it gives everything that 'mmmm' flavor and smells so good!

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