I am so sorry to be missing in action, dear readers. That croup from the other day got worse, and I have been hacking myself awake all night. I finally got the drugs I need, and am feeling better able to bake, cook, and generally face the world.
Getting on to business, I have two important announcements:
(1) If, by chance, you happen to live in the Pittsburgh area, I will be doing some puff pastry demonstrations for Pepperidge Farm this Saturday (December 13th) at two Giant Eagle Market District stores. I would love to have you stop by. Moreover, the first 50 people to stop by will receive a free copy of my Puff Pastry Perfection book. Free book, free samples, good cheer, and you can get some shopping done, too–stop by and say “hi”!
Here are the locations and times:
South Hills Village Square
7000 Oxford Drive, Village Square, Bethel Park, PA 15102
Demo time 11 – 1pm
Shadyside Market District
5550 Centre Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Demo Time 2-4
(2) Second on the agenda is dinner. Easy, cozy dinner. I’m talking gnocchi.
I don’t know why I forget about gnocchi so often. It’s a dish I almost always order when it’s on an Italian menu, it’s right there with the pasta, and it’s even faster to prepare than pasta.
I looked up and saw it on the top shelf of the pasta aisle section last week, so I scooped up three packages to have on hand. Come Tuesday of this week, when I was feeling particularly crummy, but nevertheless hungry, said gnocchi came to the rescue.
I am more than happy to fork up my gnocchi with a bit of butter and a crumble of cheese, or a light toss of marinara sauce, but I was craving salty, so I made a half-batch of one of my favorite pasta recipes–Double Olive Pasta–from epicurious and used the gnocchi in place of the pasta.
This is one of my parents’ favorite pasta dishes, too; I don’t make it often, because Kevin is not a fan of olives, but considering I was the one in need of some California-style soul food, I decided to make it anyway (and he ate it anyway; have I mentioned that he’s great?).
It hit the spot, and I’m thinking of sticking with gnocchi for this dish from here on out; the potato pillows have a faint sweetness that complements the briny olives.
Whether you try this recipe, or a gnocchi dish that’s far simpler (you can use any sauce you choose), do throw a few packages (and a bottle or two of marinara; oh, and some chopped frozen spinach, too, it’s such an easy, healthy add-on) into the basket on your next supermarket visit; you’ll be so glad you did in the days to come.
1/2 of a large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 14 1/2- to 16-ounce cans ready-cut tomatoes with juices
1/2 cup sliced pitted black olives
1/2 cup sliced pitted green olives
1 1-pound package vacuum-sealed potato gnocchi
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Optional: chopped flat-leaf parsley & additional grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper and sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices and black and green olives; simmer until sauce begins to thicken, about 8 minutes.
While sauce simmers, cook the gnocchi according to package directions in the pot of boiling water; drain.
Add cooked gnocchi and the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; toss until sauce coats gnocchi. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, garnish with parsley and additional Parmesan. Makes 4 servings.
Calories 261; Fat 3.3g (poly 1.6g, mono 1.4g, sat 0g); Protein 7.1g; Cholesterol 41mg; Carbohydrate 51.4g; Fiber 3.6; Sodium 613mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)