Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gnocchi with a Pesto Cream Sauce, Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

A little while ago I wanted to make one of my good friend a birthday dinner. And even though I know she loves me and would be grateful if I fed her a can of beans, I still wanted to do something a little extra special. Birthdays are a time of celebration! Especially those quarter of a century ones .... haha

Now my friend is a vegetarian - which doesn't seem like that much of a challenge because there are millions of excellent vegetarian dishes available. But I wanted to make something satisfying, yet light and fresh. Pasta dishes are an obvious choice, but I thought it was a good excuse to try something different. With a little bit of brainstorming, a favourite was born. In fact I have made this for myself multiple times since because I love it and it was quick!

Gnocchi with a Pesto Cream Sauce, Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
(Serves 4)
Time: 15 minutes                  CPS: $2.85                       L of D: Graduate

- 1 package of your favourite Fresh Gnocchi (or frozen)
- 3 Tbsp of Pesto
- 1 small package (or about 15) Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 cups of Baby Spinach (1 handful per person) 
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 4-6 Tbsp of Goat Cheese
- 1/4 cup of Milk or Cream
- Handful of Nuts (I used pine nuts just because I had them, but walnuts would be excellent too)
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper

This whole process is going to go quite quickly so it is important to be prepared and get yourself organized. 

First up, put a large pot of water on your stove and turn it on high to boil, be sure to salt the water. Then cut the cherry tomatoes in half (or quarters) and set aside. Chop your garlic finely and set aside. 

Set up your dinner plates and prepare bed of spinach on each one. 

Heat up a saucepan to medium heat and put in the pesto. Add in the garlic and whisk in the milk or cream. Lower the heat a bit to a simmer. 

Drop in your gnocchi into the boiling water. Stirring occasionally for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the gnocchi start to float to the top! In the meantime whisk your pesto sauce as well. If you find that the sauce is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add some more pesto. If you use cream, the sauce will thicken a lot more because the water will evaporate.

Once the gnocchi is done, strain and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss. Add the pesto cream sauce and cherry tomatoes and give a good stir. 

Place on top of bed of spinach, top with some crumbled goat cheese and nuts. 

The goat cheese will melt slightly all over the warm gnocchi and make one delicious mess. 

The birthday girl approved!

1 comment:

  1. I'll bet your friend was pretty happy! Yum!


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