Gnocchi are wonderful little lumpy Italian dumplings of comfort food goodness made with potato and flour. You can buy them shelf stable and in the pasta aisle of your store. Or if you are very adventurous, you can make them. Found a fabulous recipe at 101cookbooks.com:
I've had a package of whole wheat gnocchi in the pantry for some time and this recipe was the perfect way to use it. The stove top casserole was brightly flavored, very pretty with bubbly aromatic sauce bursting through the cheese. Slices of Italian sausage would be awesome added to the dish itself or served whole on the side. Serve as it is described below with a hunk of chewy rustic bread.
I have to add an post-script (ok, it's not exactly at the end, but it is a day late!). The dish was pronounced delicious by all, rather like a concerto in flavor as you could identify all the parts. They played together beautifully, but there were distinct stars. My son is finishing the left overs as we speak and has informed me that it has gone from a concerto to a full symphony. The flavors have melded into a wonderful cohesive flavor performance - a totally different dish left over. Just wanted to let you all know that this is definitely a dish to serve the next day too! I think I'll add a splash of cream to the original recipe next time.....
Skillet Gnocchi with White Beans and Spinach
2 T olive oil, divided
16 oz Whole Wheat Gnocchi
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 small package of proscuitto, sliced into bite size strips
6 cloves garlic
1/2 c water
6 C spinach - one bag pre-washed
30 oz canned diced tomatoes
3 t Italian seasonings (or use basil, oregano, parsley, dried garlic, etc as you prefer)
15 oz can white beans, rinsed
freshly ground pepper to taste
Tabasco to taste (unless you use salt)
pinch of sugar
1 C shredded mozzarella
1/2 C Parmesan
1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often until they plump up and begin to brown - about 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the remaining 1 T olive oil to the pan with onion and prosciutto, stir over medium heat for two minutes, stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook for 4-6 minutes until the onion softens. Add spinach, stir until it begins to wilt (1-2 minutes). Stir in tomatoes, beans, seasonings, pepper, and bring to a simmer.
3. Stir in the gnocchi and simmer til hot taste and adjust seasonings, sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook til cheese is melted.