Gnocchi in Asparagus and Mushroom Sauce

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Happy Friday everyone! Today’s recipe is a gorgeous Italian-inspired dish that is perfect for a romantic dinner. It originally came about for two reasons: 1. I had an amazing gnocchi in mushroom sauce at a local Italian restaurant a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed it so much I just had to make my own version; 2. it was an apology meal – a peace offering, if you will. That’s right, I got out of the wrong side of the bed and transformed into nightmare-in-the-morning-monster-girlfriend. So, after I had calmed down, I did the only reasonable thing I guilt-ridden girl can do; I made gnocchi. He loved it.

For this recipe I used ready-made gnocchi, because I was not sorry enough to make my own gnocchi. Or, more accurately, because I had two kids running around who didn’t want to wait around for hours while I fiddled with potatoes. For a fantastic flavour, I added white wine. This not only takes the dish to whole new level of yumminess, but also smells terrific. I also seasoned the sauce with dried herbs and nutmeg. For me, creating the perfect Italian dish is all about the seasoning. Using the right seasonings to achieve the best possible balance of flavour is what makes a meal like this really special.

So remember, next time you have a case of nightmare-morning-girlfriend syndrome, all is not lost. Make some gnocchi!

This recipe is shared with Fiesta Friday and Recipe of the Week.

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Gnocchi in Asparagus and Mushroom Sauce

Serves 2


Olive oil spray

1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp capers, drained and chopped

125g mushrooms, thinly sliced

65ml white wine*

2 tsp boullion powder

½ tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp rosemary

¼ whole nutmeg, finely grated

125g asparagus tips, cut into 1” pieces

500g ready-made gnocchi**

2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

Black pepper

*Check to make sure the wine is suitable for vegans. Many wines are now labelled as vegetarian or vegan. You can also check Barnivore, an online database of alcoholic drinks.

**Check the ingredients, gnocchi is sometimes made with egg.

  1. Place a saucepan over a medium heat and spray with olive oil. When hot, add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and capers and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until their liquid has been released and evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add buillion powder, dried herbs and nutmeg, asparagus, gnocchi and 250ml water. Mix well, cover partially and cook over a medium-low heat until the gnocchi is tender, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Serve garnished with pine nuts and finish with a spray of olive oil and a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.

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