oh, you are gonna thank me for this one. pasta…that you can fry until crispy and brown? and add toasted pine nuts and cheese? and a drizzle of olive and some fresh baby spinach? oh my word.
the inspiration for this dish came from a blog i subscribe to called 101 cookbooks. in it, heidi swanson, the creator of this blog uses the golden gnocchi to add to a pasta salad, of sorts. given the fact that we are, well technically at least, still in winter, i thought a warm application of this would be in order. you can use packaged gnocchi, if that’s all you can come up with, but buy or make fresh if you can.
crispy gnocchi with pine nuts and spinach
1 pound fresh gnocchi, cooked, drained and patted dry (add to simmering water until rise to the surface, about 2 minutes)
1 TBSP olive oil (plus extra for drizzling-use the best you have)
1 TBSP unsalted butter
pine nuts (you can toast ahead of time for 7-10 minutes in a 375 degree oven or throw them in towards the end of sauteeing the gnocchi like i do)
a few handfuls fresh baby spinach
freshly grated parmigiana reggiano
heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. add gnocchi and toss to coat. allow to saute in a single layer, undisturbed until golden brown. flip gnocchi over with a spatula to brown on the other side. add pine nuts to pan when you have a 1-2 minutes left before gnocchi are crispy on second side. remove from pan and salt to tase. add spinach and toss, allowing spinach to wilt a bit with the heat of the gnocchi. grate parmigiana and drizzle good quality olive oil over top.