"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

One (OK, Two)-skillet vegetarian gnocchi with greens and white beans

by Julie on January 28, 2012

in Green Goddess, Dinner, Vegetarian

Another day, another question of what in Hades was I to make for dinner that both nits would eat. My life is so predictable.

But wait!

Vegetarian skillet gnocchi with chard and white beans. From Dorothy’s ever-worthy Shockingly Delicious blog.

That did indeed sound shockingly delicious. At least to me. But would the nits eat it?

I decided I didn’t care anymore. They can eat breakfast cereal for dinner. I would be making this.

Here is Dorothy’s recipe, itself a riff on an Eating Well recipe of a few years ago. Dorothy made some changes, because, well because she knows what she’s doing.

Me? I made some changes myself, and because I’m getting a little better, the results were happy indeed. But I didn’t have chard and I didn’t have cannellini beans. Nor do I have a non-stick skillet that big, with a cover.

As always, I worked with what I had. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 1/2Tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi (Trader Joe’s has this – two kinds, even!)
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 or 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped chard (I didn’t have chard, so I used mixed greens from TJ’s…again, no problemo)
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes in juice. Dorothy gussied hers up with a variety of spices. I tossed in a few shakes of “pasta seasoning and was done with it.
  • 1 15-ounce can of white beans. The recipe called for cannellini beans, but I used butter beans instead, which is what I had. I imagine garbanzos would be nice too, but the boy doesn’t like those. (The butter beans were soft and mimicked the gnocchi, which I enjoyed).
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Dorothy mentioned next time she made this she’d try a splash of red wine. I tried this and it didn’t seem to hurt.
gnocchi with greens and white beans

Starting to smell good...

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skilled. Saute the gnocchi until they’re plump and just starting to brown. About 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer these into a bowl and set aside.

Add the other teaspoon and saute the onions. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, stir, wait a few seconds until you can smell them, then add the water.

Cover and cook on low, about 4-6 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the chard or whatever green you’re using. Toss lightly with the onions and garlic and, just as it’s starting to wilt, stir in the tomatoes, beans and pepper. Season expertly. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with the cheeses. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. About three minutes.

Throw in a splash of red wine whenever you think is best. I did after the tomatoes and beans…

Serves 5 to 6.

So quick! So Easy!

One glitch (because what kind of tedious blog would this be without my glitches?)

The only skillet I had that was big enough isn’t non-stick. Frying up the gnocchi, even in olive oil, stuck to the pan and promised an even bigger mess down the road.

skillet gnocchi with greens and white beans

carbs and protein and dark leafy greens, Oh My!

So I switched over to my paella pan – a lovely large non-stick surface and that worked fine. BUT, I don’t have a cover for the paella pan. So nothing got to simmer under cover.

No matter. It all worked out.

gnocchi with greens and white beans

Good enough for me!

Yeah, but did the kids eat it? The girl did. The boy turned his nose up. I never know who’s going to eat what around here.

I ate some for breakfast the next day. And lunch. And I’m putting it into the weeknight rotation, too. Try and stop me.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious January 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Sooooo glad (see how many o’s I need to use for emphasis?) you liked it!
My fam has asked for it again, although my son doesn’t like the gnocchi. I think it is a soft texture thing. The rest of us fought over the leftovers. Interestingly, the soft pillowy gnocchi is exactly what my daughter likes. Go figure.

Keep up the good work!


Marisa Mendoza January 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Soo gonna try this one. Might use canned roasted tomatoes. Mmm…


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