Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gnocchi with Broccoli and Tomatoes/ Strawberry Apple Turnovers

 We are back from our 10 day Guyana vacation.  After so much time away from Italian food, it was good to return to pasta. But, after 10 days of spending so much time on my back in a hammock being fed constantly, it was hard to get my cooking groove going again. So, I needed to cook something for our first meal back that was easy and quick. Vantia (whose tomatoes I often use) makes a vacuum packed gnocchi that is quite good. Some of my Italian readers may be shocked at my laziness, but I just didn't feel like making it from scratch. Try this product. Also, for dessert I bought some strawberries not sure what I wanted to do with them. Apparently, there was a bumper crop from Florida and they were selling in New York quite inexpensively. I made the turnovers not expecting to take any pictures, but they looked beautiful after coming out of the oven, so I thought I'd share my recipe. My kids will be over tomorrow and I plan to make an Easter meal which I will share with you. Then, in a few days I will put up pictures from our Guyana culinary adventure. Stay in touch!

The gnocchi only takes about 4 minutes in the water to be cooked, so I started with the broccoli with the intention of cooking it till it was quite well done complimenting the soft texture of the gnocchi. Do I need to mention, the water must be boiling and well salted before adding the broccoli?

After the broccoli water came back up to the boil, I started heating my skillet with extra virgin olive oil. As soon as it begins to shimmer, I added two cloves of garlic sliced and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes.

When the broccoli is almost fully cooked, I add it to the skillet with a small amount of cooking water. Then, I dump the gnocchi into the same pot I used to cook the broccoli. Timing is very important, so you need to get a lot of practice with these kind of recipes. After awhile, it becomes second nature.

While the gnocchi cooked, I added some diced tomato to the pan. Notice the ratio. I don't like to overwhelm my dish with too many ingredients. Here, I used two small Campari tomatoes (from Canada). I could have also used Roma tomatoes.

As soon as the gnocchi start to float, they are cooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the skillet with a little more cooking water.

Mix well in the skillet at high heat. After less than a minute, the water will have evaporated by half and the gnocchi will be fully cooked. Off the heat, add a little more extra virgin olive oil and some grated cheese. Plate the dish and serve with a little more cheese for the table. Mmmmm, pasta!
I missed you.

As for the turnovers, I used a frozen sheet of puff pastry which I defrosted, floured and rolled out  to a thinner size. I then cut the sheet into 4 equal sized squares. Meanwhile, I cooked apple and strawberry slices with a little sugar till softened. I placed a little on each square and folded them over to form 4 triangles. I brushed the turnover tops with an egg wash and baked them on parchment paper in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.Very easy to do and a nice result. I think I'll make them again for dessert on Sunday. Ciao everyone!


  1. We love gnocchi. I have tried making ricotta gnocchi, but not the traditional. I will have to look for that brand. Someday I may get the nerve to make it from scratch. This recipe sounds lovely and I will need to make it for my family, I think it will go over very well. Thanks so much for your encouragement as well Joe! I greatly appreciate it. I can't wait to hear about your vacation and your celebration with your family. Have a lovely weekend!

  2. An almost effortless feast in the hands of a master. I'm so glad you enjoyed your holiday and am looking forward to seeing the food you had while there. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. Lovely gnocchi dish. Just the right balance. So glad your trip went well. Can't wait to read all about it. Welcome back.

  4. Hi Joe, welcome back! Can't wait to see your culinary photos from Guyana...
    Gnocchi with broccoli look so good. Here in Genoa, we eat them with pesto sauce or walnut sauce, but I will bookmark this different recipe..
    Have a great week...Anna