Please forgive the brevity of this post, but in a sense, it fits the theme quick and simple theme of the accompanying recipe.
It's been cold--COLD--in Texas this February, and no, I don;t mean 50 degrees. I'm talking icy, single digit mornings, and bleak, gray days in the teens. But since the months of extreme heat and summer salads are not far away, ("summer" lasts at least 6 months of the year in these parts), I'm reveling in warm, cozy--but still quick--comfort food.
Inspired by the whole wheat gnocchi I found, ordered, and subsequently loved (both the Gia Russa whole wheat & sweet potato and the Racconto whole wheat and potato), I put together this bubbly, super-easy dish. It tastes indulgent but is in fact packed with great-for-you goodness.
If you are so inclined, you can add additional vegetables to the marinara mixture. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet and saute some mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, eggplant, fennel...you get the idea. It's a good way to clear out the vegetable bin in delicious fashion.And of course, you can vary the cheese to your heart's content (goat cheese and lowfat ricotta would be great alternatives to the Neufchatel)
Gnocchi Al Forno with Spinach
1 pound package ready-made gnocchi (regular or whole wheat gnocchi)
1-1/2 cups marinara pasta sauce (preferably a thick and chunky one; I like Newman's Own)
4 oz fresh, pre-washed spinach, roughly torn
1 8-ounce package Neufchatel (1/3 less fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.Preheat broiler. Position oven rack 6 to 8 inches from heating element.
2. Cook the gnocchi according to packet instructions and drain. Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just bubbles. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach. Cover and let stand 3-4 minutes to wilt spinach slightly.
3. Stir in cooked gnocchi, then transfer to an 9- or 10-inch pie plate or baking dish. Spoon blobs of Neufchatel over. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Broil 2-3 minutes until cheese is golden-brown and mixture is bubbly. Makes 4 hearty servings.