This is my favorite 'staple' meal: you know, those ones that are so easy and delicious that you find yourself making them almost weekly? This is one of them. Disclaimer: I did not come up with the basic gnocchi recipe myself. I found it on AllRecipes (told you it was fantastic!), and made a lot of changes to it to make it healthier, and ahem....mine:)
1 cup dry potato flakes
1 cup boiling water
1 cup raw spinach
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups jarred tomato sauce (my favorite is Prego HeartSmart- lazy, I know, but I'm a busy college student!)
1/2 cup FRESH mozzarella cheese
1. Place potato flakes in a medium size bowl. Pour in boiling water; stir until well blended. Stick in freezer until cool.
2. Meanwhile, chop the spinach finely. It's important that it be FINELY chopped.
3. Stir in egg, salt, pepper, and spinach. Blend in the flour- the dough should be fairly stiff. Flour your hands, and make sure your cutting surface is well floured too, otherwise the dough is going to be sticky and all over the place. taking small handfalls, shape each section into a long thin roll, about the thickness of a breadstick. With a flour coated knife, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (remember, the smaller the piece, the faster it cooks, so keep that in mind when cutting).
4. Place a few in boiling water (I try to keep it 10 pieces and under so they don't stick together). As the gnocchi rise to the top of the pot, remove them with a slotted spoon. Repeat until all are cooked. Drain on a clean, dry cloth. When all are cooked, empty the water, and put the sauce into the pot. When the sauce begins to bubble, add the cheese. When the cheese begins to melt (it'll form long thin strings of cheese when you stir), add the gnocchi and stir to coat. Serve!
For those of you who hate spinach, don't worry. The spinach doesn't have a pronounced flavor: all it does is add nutrients and color to the dish. Eventually, I'll put up a recipe for a good home made tomato sauce, but I just haven't one I like yet....someday:p
Until next time!