May 31, 2011
I LOVE gnocchi. I hate saying the word because I'm not Italian and butcher it every time.
My mom speaks Italian (a little) and has instructed me on the proper way to say it. Still, I butcher it. I pronounced it no-kie, like okie with an n. That's wrong. The g an n are supposed to make the sound in canyon, the nya and the o is soft, like, "ahhh, that is good gnocchi." (Quoted from my mom.)
Anyway, now that you know how it's pronounced, let's talk about how good they are! Gnocchi are like little dumplings - I love dumplings and they are super fast to cook. You just put them in boiling water and wait until they float to the top, like 2-4 minutes, and then they're ready! You can make them yourself, I have yet to try this but I plan on it in the near future, or you can find them pre-made in the pasta or freezer section.
I recently had a pasta bake that was a lot like supreme pizza but instead of pizza crust, there was rigatoni. I immediately wanted to try to make something similar but with gnocchi instead of the pasta. A couple of weeks went by and I finally decided to give it a shot and let me tell you, folks, it was really good. The husband loved it and Sweet P couldn't shove fist-fulls in her mouth fast enough.
It's super easy and can pretty much be tweaked to your liking. We like supreme, but no olives here, so I went with pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, onion and cheese. Next time I'll add fresh mushrooms but I just used a bell pepper and mushroom pasta sauce this time.
In a medium bowl, I combined 1/4 C diced bell pepper, 3 small onions from the garden (also diced) which came to about 1/4 C, about 4 oz of pepperonis cut in half and 2 minced garlic cloves. I added 3/4 of a log of cooked sausage and stirred it all together. Then I added 1 1/2 C of Italian cheese blend and half a jar of pasta sauce. Stirred it all up. I cooked and drained the gnocchi and dumped it in a casserole dish and then poured the meat mixture over the top, stirred it around a little more.
I baked it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then I pulled it out and added 1/2 C of colby jack cheese and baked it for another 10 minutes or so until golden and bubbly.
I have tried several different recipes with gnocchi and in my experience, you can pretty much replace any pasta with it and it's amazing.
I saw a recipe for gnocchi and cheese and I think I'll have to try it next: