Obviously healthy enough for what we’re trying to do this January.
One thing I’ve been trying really hard to do since having Will is find a balance between 1. complicated meals that I love to make but take forever and trash the kitchen and 2. takeout. I know that seems dumb, but I’m never the one to look for “super quick and easy weeknight meals!” I don’t mind eating at 9pm, I love cooking, and it mostly works for me.
Until, of course, it doesn’t. Will has been taking a longer stretch of sleep (like…two hours, don’t get too excited) in the late evenings, so if we eat at nine and go to bed around 11pm I’m missing a lot of that good sleep. Then homeboy wakes up sometimes every hour at night, I’m exhausted and forgetful and irritable and honestly the fun crazy dinners are mostly not worth that.
So the quest is to find quick dinners that are actually GOOD, and this is definitely that. It’s sweet potato gnocchi that boils in four minutes, during which time we saute some spinach with so.much.garlic. aka my favorite way to eat spinach. Then the gnocchi gets a brown butter + sage bath because we’ve earned it, and dinner is ready in FIFTEEN MINUTES, tastes like something from a fancy restaurant. You need this in your life, trust me.
The ingredients are so simple and delicious, I can’t get enough. Sweet potato gnocchi, any kind you like! Ours is from a local grocery store that we love. Then butter and sage, spinach, crushed red pepper, and garlic. Salt and pepper, of course.
This happens in two pans – one deep pan or small pot for the gnocchi, and one 8-10 inch skillet for the spinach. Bring at least four inches of water to a boil with some salt for the gnocchi, and mince the garlic. Preheat the spinach skillet to medium-high with a drizzle of olive oil.
When the water for the gnocchi boils, add the gnocchi to the water and the spinach/garlic/crushed red pepper to the skillet. Boil the gnocchi until it floats, usually 2-4 minutes or whatever the package says. Stir the spinach together until it’s just barely wilted, and turn the skillet OFF. Drain the gnocchi when it’s cooked and place the hot pot back on the stove over medium-high heat.
Back in the gnocchi pot, add the butter and the sage leaves. Let them cook together for just a minute or two to melt/brown the butter and crisp the sage leaves. Keep a careful eye on this so it doesn’t burn, it’ll take a minute or two. When the butter has a teeny bit of color to it on the bottom of the pan, return the gnocchi to the butter mixture and toss it together.
Taste the spinach; add some salt. Taste the gnocchi; add some salt. It should all be super flavorful!
Serve with extra of whatever you like! Crushed red pepper, flaky salt, extra sage or other herbs, parmesan if you’re into that kind of thing.
I love how simple this is and how fancy it feels at the same time. It’s a perfect vegetarian meal; light but filling at the same time, gluten free depending on your gnocchi brand, and full of nutrition from a big pile of spinach.
I’d LOVE some more ideas for quick meals that are actually yummy + interesting. In the meantime, I’m thinking of a different gnocchi/greens combination once per week.
Enjoy this one!
A delicious vegetarian meal done in just fifteen minutes with buttery gnocchi, earthy sage, and bright garlicky spinach.
- 1 pound sweet potato gnocchi
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 sprig fresh sage (about 10 leaves), leaves roughly chopped
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt, as needed
- Fill a small pot or deep skillet with at least 4 inches of water and some salt. Bring the water to a boil for the gnocchi. Meanwhile, preheat a separate skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil for the spinach.
- When the water boils, add the gnocchi and boil per the package directions just until the gnocchi floats, usually 2-4 minutes. Add the spinach, garlic, and crushed red pepper to the other skillet and saute for 2 minutes just until the spinach wilts. Sprinkle with salt and turn the skillet off. Drain the gnocchi.
- Return the gnocchi pot/pan to medium-high heat. Add the butter and sage leaves. Stir to melt and brown the butter while crisping the sage just slightly. When brown bits appear on the bottom of the skillet, turn the heat off and add the (still-hot) gnocchi to the butter mixture. Toss to coat.
- Taste the spinach and gnocchi; add pinches of salt to each until they are both very flavorful. Serve with extra herbs, crushed red pepper, flaky salt, or parmesan. Enjoy!
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Italian