I’ve been seeing signs of spring around here lately!
A few birds have returned and are now happily chirping away when I get up in the morning, the sun seems to hang around a tiny bit longer every afternoon, and somehow, someway, the grass is even greener than it was last summer. Now we just need the cicadas back – then we’ll really be back in business!
I mean, ok, there is an inch of snow in the forecast tonight, but even so, I can’t help but start looking forward to the lighter, more veggie-packed fare I crave around spring and summertime. A glorious walk in the 50 degree sunshine yesterday afternoon solidified my feelings, and inspired me to whip up this crazy-good, 15 minute Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn, and Basil for dinner last night.
You seriously cannot go wrong with the springy, yellow and green combo of tender zucchini, sweet corn, and herby basil tossed with a little bit of cream then paired with crispy, sauteed gnocchi. The entire thing comes together in less than 15 minutes, and is packed full of fresh flavors.
Ben and I both inhaled our bowls, and could have seriously polished off the entire batch in one sitting. This is that yummy!
Start the Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil with a 16oz package of pre-made gnocchi. You can find these at pretty much any grocery store right in the pasta aisle. Many grocery stores also sell sweet potato gnocchi, which would be fantastic in here too!
Normally you’d drop the gnocchi into a pot of boiling water then wait until they float to the top, but we’re actually going to saute these in a large skillet in 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until they get nice and crispy on the outside, which takes 6-8 minutes. This makes for SUCH a fun gnocchi texture – much different than the soft and pillowy boiled texture.
While the gnocchi is crisping up, start sauting the veg portion of the program.
Add 1 zucchini, 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn, and 1/4 small onion to 1-1/2 Tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt & pepper then saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Next add 2 minced garlic cloves and 4 chopped basil leaves then saute for 1 more minute.
Take the skillet off the heat then add 1/4 cup half & half (or heavy cream – I wouldn’t use milk) and 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Pour the veggie mixture over the crispy gnocchi then toss to combine.
Season with more salt & pepper if necessary, top with a bit more fresh basil, then serve. SO easy, right?!
Crispy Gnocchi with Zucchini, Sweet Corn and Basil
1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
16oz packaged gnocchi
1-1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 small onion, chopped
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves
8 leaves basil, chopped & divided
1/4 cup half & half
2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add gnocchi then spread in one layer and saute undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Toss then continue sauteing for 3-4 more minutes or until golden brown on all sides. Remove skillet from heat then set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat butter in another large skillet then add zucchini, corn, and onion, and then season with salt and pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes, then add chopped garlic and half the basil, and then saute for 30 more seconds. Remove skillet from heat then add half & half and parmesan cheese, and stir to combine. Pour mixture into skillet with gnocchi then toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary then serve topped with remaining chopped basil.
I am so obsessed with this dish! Though there’s a modest amount of half & half in the recipe, it tastes much lighter than the soups and bakes I’ve been making lately. Plus I’m really into using a little bit of butter and real cream. It’s really satisfying, and I don’t find myself feeling so snacky later. That is to say, I heartily devoured this dish – then made it again for lunch today. Can’t wait to repeat all summer long with my Farmer’s Market booty!
In other news, happy Valentine’s Day from my sweetie and me, to you! (I can’t stop laughing at this picture, btw, which was taken under heavy duress at 7:30am this morning. IGE readers, will you accept this rose?) No matter how you feel about the holiday, we care about ya’ and are wishing you a very nice day, indeed. We’re off to dinner and drinks tonight, then coming back home to watch The Office on DVR. Because we are party animals. And its’s a school night. Toodles!!