Spinach and Gnocchi Salad.

Going Italian for dinner is generally a good idea in our house. I get pretty tired of pasta and marinara no matter how much the kids love it. This is a new twist on a pasta dish. The presentation was intimidating at first, but once Izzy tried it she really liked it. This does take a bit of extra work so it might be best for a weekend, and really great for a dinner party!

  • Gnocchi (try to get it refrigerated instead of dried)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 or 3 thin slices prosciutto or panchetta
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • any other salad fixings (red onion and cucumber go well)
  • salt

Bring water to a boil for the gnocchi. Make sure to salt it. While that is coming up to boil, in a small sauce pan on low heat add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Let this reduce until when a spoon is placed in the balsamic sticks to back of spoon and slowly slides off. Once it hits this stage be sure to remove it from heat and set aside to cool down some.

While those two things are working add another pan to the stove on med heat and add 1 tbs olive oil. Then chop or rip the proscuitto or panchetta into small strips or pieces. Let these crisp up and then turn off the heat and remove meat.

Once the gnocchi is cooked through in the boiling pot take out and strain. Let stand for a minute so it’s not too wet. Then heat the saute pan back up to medium high and add butter and remaining olive oil. Before butter browns add the gnocchi into the pan and saute until brown. Sometimes it will stick so be careful when turning it.

While the gnocchi is getting crisp and delicious place a handful of spinach on each plate, and add any extra salad type veggies too. I skip this step for Tessa, her meals are typically deconstructed. She also has no teeth to really chew up the raw vegetation. Mix the prosciutto or panchetta back in with the gnocchi and turn off heat. Drizzle balsamic reduction over salad. Add gnocchi on top.

TJ Rating: 5 stars

Izzy Rating: 4 stars

Tessa Rating: 4 stars

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09/14/2011. Italy.

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