I still remember the first time I ever had gnocchi.
I was young – maybe 10? – and we were grabbing lunch as a family at some restaurant (maybe we were on vacation? This “I totally remember” thing is really more like “I have a very loose outline of questionable accuracy”) and then I think I got….something….that had a few gnocchi in the bottom. In like a sauce? Maybe there was fish?
(Maybe also I should stop playing it so fast and loose with the whole “let me tell you this great story I totally remember” thing 🙈).
MOVING ON. This is the part I do remember:
My Mom: “You should try one of the gnocchi! They’re so good!”
Me: “Eww. No. They look weird.”
Mom: “But it’s like potato pasta!”
Me: “……fine.” *takes bite* *MIND IS BLOWN*
The end. (Thanks, Mom).
That story was SOOOOOOO much better in my head.
(But am I going to stop what I’m doing, go back, edit it, and make it any less terrible? Probably [definitely] not. ONWARD!)
SO ANYWAY. Gnocchi. Since my very first bite, we’ve been soulmates.
And while I’m 100% a fan of letting the soft, decadent gnocchi shine on its own with a bit of simple browned butter or a light tomato sauce, sometimes (and I think you’ll agree, sweet internet friends) SOMETIMES, you just have to COVER THAT ISH IN CHEESE. ⬇️⬇️⬇️
And, okay, as far as cheese sauces go, this Parmesan Spinach Gnocchi Sauce is definitely on the lighter side. Just a hint of garlic and a bit of parmesan cheese go a long way, and the spinach adds some beautiful deep green color that allllllllmost makes it to health food territory.
The best part, though? Gnocchi cooks riDONKulously fast, so you can have this pot o’ cheesy gnocchi goodness on the table in under 30 minutes.
Serve it as a side dish or toss in some grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp to add a bit of protein and make it a full meal. Or (ORRRRR) faceplant right into the pot with reckless gnocchi abandon. But, y’know, up to you.
- 16 oz. potato gnocchi
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1.25 cups milk
- 3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Drain, set aside, and return the empty pot to the stove.
- Melt butter over medium heat.
- Add garlic to butter and sauté for about a minute until garlic is fragrant.
- Add flour to butter and whisk to form a roux. Cook for 30 seconds or so to cook out any raw flour taste.
- Slowly add milk to roux, whisking constantly to break up any lumps. Cook for 2-3 minutes until sauce has just begun to thicken.
- Stir chopped spinach into sauce and cook 3-5 minutes more until spinach has wilted and sauce has thickened.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove pot from heat.
- Add parmesan cheese to sauce and stir to combine.
- Return cooked gnocchi to sauce and stir to combine. Serve immediately.
Add grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp to this recipe for a bit of protein.