Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta

Homemade gnocchi and I have a history of failure (a story for another time). So when Cooking Light's trio of gnocchi recipes only required the store-bought variety, I jumped at the chance to have successful gnocchi in my home kitchen without the grief off boiled blobs of mashed potatoes.

We tried both the Gnocchi with Chicken Sausage, Bell Peppers, and Fennel as well as the Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta. The former was okay, but was severely-lacking in flavor, despite it's myriad of interesting ingredients, probably do to it's lack of sauce (perhaps uping the liquid content would help), though the fennel was an interesting touch. It's a recipe worth revisiting and modifying. The latter was delicious, though we went a little overboard on the pancetta (a little goes a long way my friends).

Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta
from Cooking Light, with slight mods.
Serves 2
8 oz. pre-packaged (or fresh) gnocchi
1 oz. pancetta, cut into thin strips, about 1/4 cup (I put in, like, 3 oz. which was overpowering)
1 thinly sliced shallots
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

1) Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep warm.

2) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté 5 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.

3) Add asparagus to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 3 min. Stir in garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add gnocchi, pancetta, 2 TBS reserved cooking liquid, juice, salt, and pepper to pan and cook an additional minute or so until flavors are mingled and the dish is warmed through (add more reserved cooking liquid if pan gets too dry). Divide among boths and top with cheese.

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