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Gnocchi primavera

Published On: May 01 2012 11:44:16 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 05 2012 04:53:43 AM CDT
Gnocchi

salsachica/SXC

"Primavera" means "spring." So this is the perfect dish for the beginning of a new and welcome season. As a culinary term, "primavera" refers to the use of fresh vegetables.

Gnocchi are the little dumplings with potato. In most supermarkets, you'll find them in the freezer section packaged in boxes, which I prefer over the gnocchi shelved with the dried pastas. Their appealing comfort-food texture serves as a base for a peppery blend of vegetables in tomato sauce.

You can substitute other vegetables for the broccoli and artichoke hearts (up to 3 cups total); try green beans, cut asparagus, or peas.

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup coarsely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced1 cup small broccoli florets

2 cups sliced mushrooms

One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice

One 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts packed in water, drained

1 cup chicken broth1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Dash of salt, or to taste

16 ounces frozen potato gnocchi

garnish (optional): freshly ground pepper, freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli; cook, stirring constantly, until it is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until they are tender, about 2 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with juice, artichoke hearts, chicken broth, dried basil (if using), pepper, and salt. Increase the heat to high; cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the fresh basil (if using). Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover and keep warm over very low heat.

When the sauce is nearly done cooking, add salt, then the gnocchi to the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the gnocchi. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for about 2 to 4 minutes, or according to package instructions, until the gnocchi float to the top and are tender. Drain well.

To serve, spoon the gnocchi into 4 shallow pasta bowls; top with the vegetables and sauce.

Advance preparation

Covered and refrigerated, the sauce will keep for up to 2 days. Reheat and serve over hot, freshly cooked gnocchi.