Creamy Parmesan Gnocchi with Kale
Creamy Parmesan Gnocchi is one of the only recipe where I can get my guys to eat kale without faces of pure disgust. The menfolk in my house are not fond of kale or any other bitter greens regardless of how it is prepared. You can simmer those greens with pork, butter, and salt for years and it still isn’t tasty enough. So this is a challenge since dark leafy greens are good for you.
While I like all sorts of greens, be it not often prepared in a healthy manner outside of spinach, I want to get more greens in my family’s diet outside of salads. In the summer, salads are wonderful, but in the winter something warm and hearty is needed.
Fits the Bill
This is where Creamy Parmesan Gnocchi fits the bill. It is a one-pot meal with simple ingredients. Outside of kale and maybe gnocchi – and I’ll come to that in a minute – are pantry items. All it is veg broth, minced garlic, milk, butter, white beans, and chunk Parmesan cheese. My pantry has an array of canned white beans such as Northern White, Cannellini, and butter beans. Use whatever you have in your cabinets. The final texture may change, but do what works best for you. Shock your pantry with bottled minced garlic and veg broth. I always have “real” butter on hand to cook and bake with in my kitchen. Don’t skimp on the Parmesan cheese. Buy a chunk and grate it yourself. One it is cheaper and two it is real cheese.
You can buy various types of gnocchi today. I admit there are three packages of potato gnocchi in my cabinets along with penne pasta. I decided last winter I was going to make homemade gnocchi. As I continue to evaluate my relationship with processed foods, I look to make my food from wholesome ingredients. I have to say that homemade gnocchi is amazing compared to the store-made. Just a level of fresh and taste. While it is simple, there is a process in making them well. If you want to make homemade gnocchi then go here.
This a family favorite even with the kale in it, but when kale isn’t available then I use spinach. It is a quick vegetarian meal for a busy weekday night.
- - 1 tablespoon olive oil
- - 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- - 2 cups veggie broth
- - 1 cup milk
- - 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- - Salt and pepper, to taste
- - 16 ounces gnocchi
- - 3 cups chopped fresh kale
- - 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained
- - ? cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- - Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
- - Add garlic; stir constantly for 1 minute until fragrant.
- - Add broth, milk, butter and a few dashes of salt and pepper.
- - Add gnocchi; stir to combine.
- - Cook, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes until gnocchi is soft and cooked through.
- - Stir in kale, beans and Parmesan cheese.
- - Cook until kale is just wilted.
- - Serve with more grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Comfort Food: Italian-American Spaghetti and Meatballs
My neighbors are Italian-Americans from New York City. Those two can cook like nobody’s business. Most Italian-Americans can cook like nobody’s business. Ten pounds may have found its way to my body alone on their homemade desserts and cookies. Not alone from their spaghetti and meatballs.
Bob who’s family is originally from Sicily – and yes I know most Sicilians and Italians will agree that Sicily isn’t really Italy – tells stories of Sunday dinners. Coming back from church, the smells of tomato sauce simmering on the stove came from apartment’s kitchen window. Sunday dinner was tomato sauce with sausages, meatballs, and oxtails simmered all day to perfection.
To me, spaghetti and meatballs are the ultimate comfort food even though I am not Italian-American. I love making it. It is a process of love. Forming the meatballs. Making the sauce. The smell of it all on the stove. The look of it on the plate. Lastly, the taste of complete satisfaction. You will overeat when you make this. And that’s OK.
Italian-American Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-6 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
- 4-6 stems fresh oregano
- 2-4 stems fresh rosemary
- 2-4 stems fresh basil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and basil and cooking until the herbs become crisp.
- Remove the herbs and discard.
- Add the onion and garlic to the oil cooking until the onions are transparent.
- Add diced tomatoes.
- Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, garlic powder, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add a little bit of water.
- Mix until well blended.
- Form into 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Set aside and allow them to rest.
- Heat oil in large pan.
- Brown meatballs on all sides.
- Place in tomato sauce allowing them to cook through.
Portion size. There is a lot of talk that in the US in regards to the obesity endemic. Serving sizes are tricky. And I’m starting understand why.
I made creamy chicken and mushroom potpie in the slow cooker. It was good by the way.
In the photo above is how I served it. Pretty standard serving size, right? About my fist and a half or a little over a cup.
The recipe serves four. There are three of us in my family: me, my husband, and a five year old with a very healthy appetite.
This is what was left after serving the meal.
Once I put the leftovers in a container, I realized that there’s a full second meal there.
Now remember, this recipe serves four. This is not the first recipe that says it serves four, but really serves a lot more.
I’m left thinking which is correct my serving size or the recipe’s? And is this a reason for increased obesity?
What are your thoughts?