This is the forth time I’ve made this recipe, and yet again, it didn’t let me down. I’m generally the kind of person that doesn’t like to make the same thing twice. If I’m going to cook, I want to try something new! (Of course, there are a few staples that I make over and over again because they are healthy and easy- like my turkey muffins).
Nevertheless, Kyle loves this recipe and so I try to make it for him at least more than once a year. I originally found it off the food network (thanks Giada!) and I know it’s a dish that I will come back to every fall. This gnocchi is warm and hearty, flavorful and comforting.
It’s not particularly healthy. But it’s a great meal for a special treat, when company comes over, Tuesday- you name it! It also reheats really well.
Gnocchi are little balls of potato flour that somehow fall into the pasta category. You can find them in the pasta isle. Nicoise olives are beautiful black olives. If you can’t find them, Kalamata olives work just as well. (I actually used Kalamata olives this time).
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces bacon, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 pound coarsely ground beef
- 2 tablespoons red wine (if I were you, I would use way more wine- like 2/3 cup)
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 15-ounce can plum tomatoes
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 1-inch strips orange peel
- 2/3 cup nicoise olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 package (about 1 pound) vacuum-packed gnocchi
Enlist your significant other to help you in the kitchen. The intoxicating aroma of this dish is too wonderful to not be shared.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the bacon and garlic; cook until the bacon starts to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add the ground beef; cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
Add the wine, shallots, carrots, celery and tomato paste; cook until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Crush the tomatoes into the pan with your hands and add any juices from the can. Stir in the broth, bay leaf, orange peel and olives. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat; cover and cook 20 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil the gnocchi until one floats to the top, about 1 minute. Drain immediately to prevent the gnocchi from becoming mushy. Remove the orange peel and bay leaf from the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Toss the gnocchi with the sauce.
If you were dead set on making this dish healthier, you could use turkey instead of beef. You could even use no meat and add tempeh instead of gnocchi. There is whole wheat gnocchi but it’s gross so I wouldn’t recommend it. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend trying to ‘healthify’ this dish. Just love it and savor all it’s yumminess.
The night ended with one happy boyfriend.
Have a great day everyone!!