The calendar tells me that Lent starts tomorrow. Which is odd because I’m pretty sure it started almost three weeks ago here, when the Black Death first descended on our household. We’ve been battling one health issue after another ever since then, including issues I won’t mention on the same page with food. Regardless, I’m all tuckered out and having a hard time settling on my various Lenten penances. Isn’t sleeping only a few hours a night penance enough?
All this is to say that while tomorrow I might come up with something eloquent to say about fasting, today I’ve got nothing. Except for a recipe that you can cook on days of fasting and abstinence.
Gnocchi Aglio e Olio is a twist on the typical Italian Spaghetti dish of the same name. I am not a fan of spaghetti, but am a fan of crispy fried gnocchi, so I switched them out long ago and vastly prefer this version. Also, you can buy gluten free gnocci in most stores, and as it tastes a million times better than gluten free pasta, it’s a much better option when feeding the gluten-free people in your life.
This isn’t necessarily a recipe for a huge, ravenous crowd, as the more you multiply it, the more batches of gnocchi you have to fry. I’ve doubled it, but probably wouldn’t triple it. It’s also all hands on deck in the moments leading up to eating. But it comes together fairly quickly, requires minimal prep, and is so, so delicious, that it’s totally worth ignoring your kids for 15 minutes and just accepting (most) of the damage that ensues during that time
Gnocchi Aglio e Olio
Prep Time: 5 minutes, Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 24 ounces boxed (or homemade) potato gnocchi
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, especially if little ones are eating)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ½ cup Pecorino-Romano (or Parmesan), freshly shredded
- Kosher salt
- Bring 6 cups of salted water to boil, while you chop herbs and shred cheese.
- When water is a few minutes from reaching its boiling point, combine olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and melt together over medium heat.
- Add crushed garlic to butter and oil, and toast until it reaches a golden brown. Remove garlic from oil and set aside.
- When water starts to boil, add gnocchi. Boil until the gnocchi floats to the surface (about 3-4 minutes).
- Using a slotted spoon, remove gnocchi from the boiling water and transfer to the frying pan in a single layer. Fry in butter and oil until the gnocchi become lightly brown and slightly crisp (about 7-10 minutes). (If doubling, boil and fry one batch, transfer to a warm baking dish, then boil and fry the second batch. Then return everything to the pan to mix together.)
- Toss in herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, cheese, (and diced fried garlic if you like). Check for salt and add if needed. Divide evenly onto plates and serve.
. Serve With…
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Garlic Bread