Monday, March 15, 2010

Easy, delicious gnocchi... thumbs not included.

Because schedules seem busy and complicated lately, I've found myself making dinner for the the kid early and something else for L and I later in the evening. I keep trying to pull things together for all of us to eat at the same time, but it just isn't happening as much as I'd like. In the meantime, though, I've started to simplify what I'm preparing — whether for the the kid or for us. More and more, I find that combining a few really good ingredients and letting the food shine is far more interesting than trying to do full-bore multi-plate meals. This one was one of those pleasant discoveries along the way.

I had a package of Trader Joe's gnocchi — their prepared ingredients often make a good start for my recent creations — and a slew of random ingredients in the fridge. I pulled some bacon out and chopped it into small pieces, slicing off most of the fat. Then I pulled some sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, a quarter-cup at most, and chopped them up. A couple fresh sweet peppers, a few small heirloom tomatoes, and a handful of spinach rounded out the ingredients. In deference to L's vegetarianism, we cooked the bacon in a separate pan. I sauteed the peppers, tomatoes and spinach in a touch of olive oil added the cooked gnocchi plated a small amount for her, sprinkled with fleur de sel, cracked pepper, a touch of crushed red pepper and parmaggiano. I added the cooked bacon to the pan and finished the saute, adding the salt, pepper and cheese.

In all fairness, I also have to give credit to L on this one. While chopping the sundried tomatoes, I nicked my thumb pretty badly. It was bad enough I had to sit the rest of the prep out and put pressure on the wound. She carried it off well and we plated perfectly.

The result was one of the better and simpler dishes I've done in a while. The flavor of each ingredient came through and they complemented each other beautifully. Served with a decent Barbera, this is definitely a keeper in the recipe list.