I'm sure a lot of you have stand-by "emergency dinners" - something you keep in your pantry that can be whipped up for an easy meal on those days when you have no plans for dinner, no time to visit the grocery store, and nothing substantial left in the fridge.
I sometimes keep a boxed soup in the pantry for such occasions, although if I have leftovers of something stored in the freezer (veggie burgers are a great option) then that's my first choice!
Recently I was at an Italian grocery store and decided to pick up a package of spinach gnocchi to have around just in case as an emergency dinner. The problem was that I didn't have any sauce around to go with it, and what good is plain gnocchi if you don't have a sauce?
So this week I sacrificed my emergency dinner gnocchi and stopped at the grocery store so that I could make a planned meal with it using fresh vegetables and herbs instead of a jarred sauce.
Rather than making an actual vegetable sauce, I took the easier route and just made a sauté out of zucchini, carrots, spinach and grape tomatoes to eat along with my gnocchi. Seasoned only with salt and pepper and topped with some fresh basil, this was a really easy meal to put together and still tasted fresh, since it was full of actual vegetables rather than a processed sauce (not that there's anything wrong with that occasionally too!).
Feel free to change up the vegetables with whatever is in season, and parmesan cheese on top would go really well here too!
Hope you all enjoy the weekend - especially Canadian readers who have a long weekend - yay!
Gnocchi with Sauteed Vegetables
Inspired by Martha Stewart and Australian Good Taste
1 (500g) package gnocchi (I used a spinach flavoured gnocchi)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion (or half a large onion), diced
2 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1-2 small carrots, diced (about ½ cup)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
2-3 cups packed spinach
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup sliced fresh basil
Parmesan cheese for serving (optional - I didn't use any)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and let cook until they float to the surface of the water, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, stirring often. Add onion, zucchini, and carrot and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and spinach and cover the pan with a lid. Cook, covered, for about 2 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Remove lid and continue to cook for another minute or two, until the tomatoes have softened a bit. Add the drained gnocchi and toss to combine.
Season well and top with basil and parmesan (if using – I left it out). Serve warm.
Makes 3-4 servings.