Whenever I'm at an Italian restaurant or just generally surrounded by pasta choices, nine times out of ten I will choose gnocchi because, when it's done right, it's really incredible. After passing by the gnocchi in the pasta section of Trader Joe's over and over again, I finally decided to experiment with it and couldn't be happier with the result.
The first time I made this gnocchi was a Monday night when my boyfriend came over for dinner after work.The two of us ended up standing in the kitchen eating gnocchi after gnocchi out of the pan before serving what was actually left onto our plates, topping it with the arugula, walnuts and lemon and realizing it was even more incredible when complete. I've made this dish several times since then and it never fails.
One of my favorite things about it is the amazing flavor you get from using just one tablespoon of Earth Balance. I wanted to avoid adding a bunch of butter to prevent it from getting too greasy and taking away from the natural decadence of the gnocchi. I'm so happy I tried it this way because one tablespoon is more than enough to allow the gnocchi to get toasty in the pan and still feel deliciously indulgent.
Also, don't forgot to enter my giveaway to win some delicious plant-based treats!
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 lb gnocchi
- 16 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- Olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (vegan butter found at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods)
- Put a large pot of water to boil. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the mushrooms on medium high for about 5 minutes until liquid is released and cooked off and they start to brown. Do not over crowd the mushrooms in the skillet, if you need to do this in two parts to get all the mushrooms on one even layer no problem! Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes or so until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Salt the boiling water and add gnocchi. Meanwhile, add the Earth Balance to the skillet adding the minced garlic when it has melted. As the gnocchi floats to the top of the water, spoon it out and into the skillet. Once all the gnocchi are in the skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring only occasionally so the gnocchi can brown on the sides. Stir in mushrooms.
- To toast the walnuts, heat them in a skillet for one to two minutes over medium heat until they are golden brown and smell toasty. They can burn easily so stir often. Allow them to cool and then roughly chop.
- Divide gnocchi on two plates and top each with a small handful of arugula, toasted walnuts and big squeeze of lemon.