I wasn’t really in the mood to cook tonight and was pretty hungry—so not wanting to wait too long to eat. I had a head of broccolini in the fridge (trying to eat broccoli at least once a week— so healthy). I remembered a recipe I’d seen for gnocchi with broccoli and tomato sauce. I had some tomato sauce left over from the lasagna recipe I’d made for Easter (I doubled it—smarty pants eh?).
It took a bit longer than expected as you have to cook the garlic on low for 30 minutes, but I kept busy catching up on my blog posts while it cooked 🙂 Alternatively, you could fit in a quick workout, some yoga. Which I thought of….
The wait was TOTALLY worth it. The soft garlic full of flavour, pillowy gnocchi and healthy broccolini made for a great, nutritious weeknight dinner.
10 garlic cloves
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and ground pepper
Sprig of thyme
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
1 cup jarred marinara sauce
1 lb gnocchi
1 cup baby broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Grated ricotta salata or parmigiano (or it’s cheaper cousin grand padano), for topping
- In a small saucepan, combine garlic, oil, pinch of salt, and thyme and cook over low until the garlic is caramel-colored and soft (not mushy), 30 to 40 minutes. It took me almost 45. Remove the thyme. (Note: I only had dried thyme so couldn’t remove it—still tasted great). Put garlic oil aside.
- Set a large pot of water to boil. Once it boils, add salt. This is important apparently. When I was in Italy I was scolded me for putting the salt into the water before it boiled. I’ve been adding it properly ever since, LOL.
- In a large saute/fry pan, heat 2 teaspoons of the garlic oil on medium. Add the red-pepper flakes and swirl the pan for 1 minute. Watch it closely as it can burn pretty quickly. Add the tomato/marinara sauce and warm it up. Remove the garlic from the oil, mash it coarsely (or till it’s mushy like I like it), and add it to the sauce. Remove pan from heat.
- Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water, adding the broccoli for the last minute of cooking. Save a few spoonfuls of cooking liquid; drain the gnocchi and broccoli and add them to the pan with the sauce.
- Toss the gnocchi in the sauce to coat, adding a spoonful or two of the cooking liquid as needed. I actually didn’t need any of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper, and top with cheese.
Adapted from: Men’s Health (Original recipe by Matthew Accarrino, executive chef of SPQR, San Francisco).