Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brown Butter Gnocchi...

Yes, you'll find yet another browned butter recipe in today's post! However, unlike many of the ones we have made before, this one is not a sweet recipe! For dinner tonight, I prepared this Brown Butter Gnocchi with Spinach and Pine Nuts dish.

There isn't too much work involved here at all as the little prepared potato dumplings take just a couple minutes to cook once you have the salted water boiling in the pot. As those were working, we swiped two tablespoon pats from a stick of butter and set them into a skillet, along with the same volume of raw pine nuts. The butter and pine nuts toast at the same time, releasing an intense nutty aroma as they turn from pale to an enticing golden brown color. Before it went from being toasty to well, burnt, three cloves worth of minced garlic were stirred in and left just long enough to dismiss a bit of its raw harshness.

To finish this off, the gnocchi are tossed in the browned bath with a generous dose of torn fresh spinach to wilt down. Right after I divvied the gnocchi and spinach onto the plates, we scattered the top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese to serve. See those browned specs all over those pillow-y nuggets of gnocchi? Even though there was only two tablespoons of butter used, there was still plenty to go around - using the technique of browning it first concentrates its robust essence, so you won't need an excessive amount to taste it. Besides bringing a nice crunch against those softer textures, adding the pine nuts in this works completely in your favor, echoing that rich buttery flavor!

This dish would be perfect for those nights when you need dinner to be on your table in a hurry, yet you crave something a bit more special than a burger or sandwich. The recipe stated that this served four, but that would have been fairly light for us - we portioned it out to three to keep our stomachs happy!


  1. Yum, Joe! I will eat just about anything with browned butter, but these gnocchi look particularly heavenly. I like the idea of adding nuts to the gnocchi; I think I'll try with some almonds I have on hand. Thank you!

  2. Camilla - Almonds would be a nice touch, I think! I bit more of a crunch than pine nuts.