Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Potato Gnocchi with Kale and Mushrooms in a Goat Cheese Sauce

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.

Let's eat!

Potato Gnocchi with Kale and Mushrooms in a Goat Cheese Sauce
Makes 4 servings
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.

Deal of the day: I got an immersion blender for Christmas and absolutely love it. If you don't have one yet, Amazon has the Cuisinart SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender on sale at more than half off!


ARLENE said...

I love gnocchi. I like the way ricotta lightens it. It's wonderful with sage butter or with a vegetable Bolognese.

Evan Thomas said...

This looks great! Hard to believe it's lightened up at all; this would definitely be a satisfying meal.

Kate @ Diethood.com said...

That sound really good! I love that you added goat cheese...mmmm!

Tiffany said...

You had me at goat cheese sauce!

danasfoodforthought said...

Gnocchi has always seemed daunting to me too, but your description makes it seem within reach. This sounds great!

AngieK said...

All your recipes are FANTASTIC! Gnocchi is my favorite! I'm so happy to see a healthy version! I'm going to try this this weekend!! Thanks!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food said...

I'm a big gnocchi fan too, Ryan, and just love what you've done with them here. Lightening them up while adding all that great flavor of mushrooms, greens, and goat cheese is such a delicious idea.

Skinny Fat Kid said...

This looks awesome! My boyfriend refused to eat any meals without meat. Think adding in some turkey sausage would work??

Scott K said...

Thanks all for your comments!

Skinny, if you add turkey sausage, I would do it in slices instead of crumbled so that the sausage flavor is less likely to overwhelm the others. Be sure to drain off any excess fat too. Good luck!

Lisa said...

This looks so delish, the gnocchi look perfect!

Megan said...

gnocchi is one of my favorite quick foods. Your version sounds healthier then my versions. ;)

Mother Rimmy said...

I love this recipe! My husband is a big fan of gnocchi, but I never liked the ingredients in the packaged versions. I've saved this one for the weekend. I can't wait to give it a try, and the calories are fantastic. Add a simple salad and it's truly a calorie friendly meal.


Lynn said...

I've always struggled with gnocchi. This combo looks so good that I am inspired to try again.

Anca@Bistro Gerard said...

I'm a huge fan of gnocchi, and all the other ingredients in this recipe. I'll definitely save this to try when the cooler weather starts here

FreeBloggerBackgrounds said...

Hi Scott,

Just started weight watchers and was looking for inspiring recipes. You have a great blog!Your passion for food and cooking is amazing. I can't wait to try out some of your recipes.

Christina said...

Wow, nice job! I've made gnocchi once and it was a bit tedious. I like your idea to freeze for later. I also love my immersion blender!! Thanks for sharing with Friday Firsts!

Heather said...

Now this is my kind of food! This recipe sounds delicious.

Thanks for dropping by my blog--it's nice to meet other bloggers in the vicinity! I think I recognize your photo from the CU-area Yelp, actually. Is that right?

Trix said...

I, too, am always surprised whenever I make gnocchi at just how easy it is - it definitely seems like it should be more work. Love it here with the kale.

Zac and Mindy Curtis said...

I have tried making my own gnocchi before and it was a disaster. This post has inspired me to try again. This seems like a great recipe!

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