For me, there is something wonderfully decadent about gnocchi. Made from either ricotta cheese or potato, it has such a creamy texture and is so often served in brown butter or olive oil sauces.
As decadent as it seems, gnocchi can be part of a healthy diet. This version of potato gnocchi is made from potatoes, mixed with fresh kale, sauteed mushrooms and a creamy goat cheese sauce. I topped it with some shaved pecorino romano cheese. It had all the creaminess I had hoped for and the mushrooms and kale added a wonderful earthy flavor to the dish. Nancy and Quinn loved it and Nancy, who's not a fan of leftovers, placed dibs on this for lunch the next day.
Another reason that I had hesitated to make gnocchi was that it seemed so daunting. It wasn't! In fact, it was really very easy. And, gnocchi keeps very well. You can make it up on a weekend for a weeknight meal, or make a large batch and freeze it for future use.
Now that I've done it once, I may try to make an even healthier version, substituting whole wheat pastry flour and using egg whites.
Nutrition information from NutritionData.com, per serving: Calories: 409, total fat: 13 grams, carbohydrate: 59 grams, fiber: 4 grams, protein: 16 grams. Weight Watchers' PointsPlus: 11.
Potato Gnocchi with Kale and Mushrooms in a Goat Cheese Sauce
Makes 4 servings Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds baking potatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces brown or crimmini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups fresh kale, chopped
4 ounces semi-soft goat cheese
1/2 cup skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F. Pierce potatoes several times each with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Cut the potatoes in half and scoop the flesh into a medium-sized bowl and mash until smooth. You can also use a potato ricer or food mill and rice. Let cool to room temperature.
Line a large backing sheet with parchment paper. Add flour to the potatoes and mix. Form a well in the middle of the mixture and add yolk, nutmeg and salt. Using a fork, stir until the potato mixture is evenly coated, it will not be completely smooth. Form the dough into a ball and divide into 4 equally-sized pieces.
Roll each piece of dough between your hands and a lightly floured work surface into a 3/4 inch diameter rope. Cut the rope int 3/4-inch pieces and indent each piece with a fork. (The indent is optional, but will help the gnocchi hold the sauce.) Place the pieces on the parchment and repeat with the remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the gnocchi in batches. You don't want the water to stop boiling. It will sink to the bottom of the pot. Stirring occasionally, let the gnocchi cook until it floats and is cooked through, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked gnocchi to a bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sautee until browned and most of the moisture has cooked off. Add the kale and continue to cook until it just begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add milk and goat cheese and stir continuously until well blended. Add gnocchi and stir until coated and warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste.