Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi

I'm usually pretty hesitant about cooking with gnocchi. Something about the texture often doesn't work for me, so I tend to avoid it. But this recipe called for sauteeing the gnocchi prior to cooking it, so that intrigued me. Oh, what a difference! It was actually really enjoyable and delicious. The whole thing reminds me a little bit of the butternut squash thing I made for Thanksgiving a few years ago. It's really good. I invested in some "balsamic glaze," which came in a squeezy bottle to make decorative patterns and flourishes on food. Hah. I used Craisins instead of currants, but that was the only real change I made. I really liked this a lot. It also reheated very well. I would definitely make this again.


Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi
Eating Well, Sept/Oct 2010

Currants add a surprising touch of sweetness to this simple sauté of chickpeas, spinach, squash and gnocchi. We prefer the texture of shelf-stable gnocchi, but if sodium is an issue for you, opt for frozen instead. Serve with a glass of chardonnay.
Note: Balsamic vinegar reduction, simply balsamic vinegar that is cooked down until thick and syrupy, is sometimes called balsamic glaze or balsamic drizzle. Look for it with other vinegars in well-stocked supermarkets. Or make it yourself: Bring 1 cup balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until syrupy and reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 14 minutes. (Watch the syrup carefully in the last few minutes of reducing to prevent burning.)

1 pound frozen or shelf-stable gnocchi
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced peeled butternut squash or unpeeled delicata squash -- (1- to 2-inch-long slices)
1/2 cup sliced shallots -- (1-2 medium)
2 cloves garlic -- minced
14 ounces vegetable broth
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 cups fresh spinach -- coarsely chopped
15 ounces chickpeas -- rinsed
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar reduction or 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar -- (see Note)

1. If using frozen gnocchi, cook in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse and pat dry. (If using shelf-stable gnocchi, skip this step.)

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, squash, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, currants, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the squash is almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add spinach, chickpeas and the gnocchi and cook, gently stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Serve drizzled with balsamic reduction (or balsamic vinegar).

Servings: 4

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