Monday, 10 September 2012

Recipe: Pan-fried Gnocci with Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

This is easily one of my favourite week night meals - it's a Mr F concoction that has become a bit of a comfort food staple. It combines several of my favourite foods (spinach, butter and potatoes), and the act of frying carbohydrates means it is probably bad for you. I tell myself that the cherry tomatoes and spinach count as two of your five a day, so that makes it ok.
Serves 2

500g gnocci (roughly one packet, unless you can be bothered making your own)
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 generous pinch mixed dried Italian herbs
50g butter
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 large handfuls (about 75g) baby leaf spinach
2 handfuls (about 12) cherry or baby plum tomatoes, halved

Pre-heat your oven on low (to use to keep things warm).
Cook the gnocci according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, melt half of the butter and add in the pine nuts and garlic. Toast in the butter until golden, taking care not to burn them. Add in the cooked and drained gnocci, adding more butter if necessary to prevent it sticking to the pan, and stir gently. The gnocci should fry slowly for a minute or so on each side, until golden and crispy. Transfer the gnocci and nuts into an ovenproof dish, and keep warm in the oven. Make sure you pour over any butter that's been left behind to keep the flavour!
In the same pan, pop the other half of the butter in. Stir in the spinach, sprinkle on the mixed dried herbs, and wilt away the liquid. This may take a minute or so. When the spinach liquid has evaporated, mix in the cherry tomatoes, stirring only occasionally, to soften the flesh and char the skin slightly.
Remove the gnocci from the oven, stir through the spinach, tomatoes and pine nuts, and serve on hot plates. Season with pepper, or, if you fancy, a little parmesan.

1 comment:

  1. Everything in there is good for you. It's all about the balance.

    It looks delicious!