June 25, 2017

Italian Gnocchi

Every Christmas we have single Airmen over for dinner.  Being overseas, your coworkers and friends quickly become your family.  We love this tradition and every Christmas we have a 'Theme' dinner.  We always have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, so for Christmas we like to change it up a little.  We've had 'Felize Navidad', 'Italian Feast', and 'Comfort Food' themes.
We've had an 'Italian Feast' Christmas dinner twice out of the four years we've been stationed in Germany, due to high demand:)  People loved it and it's super easy...Pasta feeds a large number of people easily.  Being married to a 1/2 Italian, means I was blessed with being able to reach out to his great aunt for recipes on famous sauce, meatballs, and cannoli secrets.  But, I'm going to share with you my own Gnocchi recipe.  I served this our first 'Italian Feast' and it was gone by the first round of the buffet line.  So, I made plenty of it the second time I served it. 
Here is what you'll need:
One bag of Gnocchi
Italian sausage links
One bag of Spinach
2-4 Garlic cloves, minced (more or less depending on your taste)
1 Can of Italian stewed diced tomatoes
Shredded Parmesan cheese
*If you are feeding a large party, then I would definitely double the ingredients.  This amount will serve 6-8 people.

1)  Boil water in a medium pot
2)  While you wait for the water to boil, cook the Italian sausages according to the package directions (I brown the sausages on all sides in a pan on the stove top, then I add some water and cover the pan to finish cooking them through).
3)  Mince 2 cloves of garlic and sauté the garlic in a pan with extra virgin olive oil (be careful not to overcook.  Garlic burns quickly).
4)  After the garlic is slightly browned, it's time to add the spinach.  I toss an entire bag of spinach  in the pan with the extra virgin olive oil and the garlic.

5)  At this point your water should be boiling.  Add the gnocchi to the boiling water.  Stir.  The gnocchi does not take long to cook.  Keep the water at a roiling boil with the gnocchi in it.  Once the gnocchi starts to float to the top of the pot, that indicates they are done cooking.

See the gnocchi floating=done
6)  When the gnocchi is done, drain it (just like you would do pasta noodles).
7) Assemble: 
Put the gnocchi in a large mixing bowl, add the sautéed spinach/garlic
Add the Italian sausage that you've sliced up once finished cooking
Add the shredded Parmesan cheese (as much as you like)
Add the can of diced Italian stewed tomatoes, juice and all. 
The steam and warmth from the gnocchi will melt the Parmesan cheese and warm up the diced tomatoes. 
Toss it all together and serve. 

We serve ours with garlic bread and salad when it's just our family.  For our Christmas 'Italian Feast we also add bruschetta, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and caprese salad.  Delizioso!

When it's all over, we play games.  Our motto is "you eat, you play".  The Airmen are usually the ones that laugh the loudest at the end of the night.  When all is said and done, I pack up leftovers in Tupperware so they have something good to eat the next day. 
Making friends your family is important, but extra consideration is made at the holidays for everyone to be able to have a home to celebrate in-wherever that home may be at the time.
Getting ready for some Pictionary!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...