A quick, creamy, and tangy vegetarian weekday dinner.

Gnocchi is one of our favorites as it is quick, very versatile, and absorbs the flavors of the sauces so well. This surprisingly light, garlicky, and tangy sauce was absolutely stunning and refreshing. The crispy broccoli provides a slightly sweet touch and texture, or course.

This one is based on a recipe by Amanda James that I found in the April 2020 edition of Olive Magazine, which was one of the few I encountered intended for 3 persons. To accommodate 4, I decided to double some parts of the recipe (mainly the broccoli, gnocchi, mustard, and cheese) but kept most of the sauce quantities the same. We did cut down on the lemon juice and only added to taste, which was about half.  With 4 persons, we only had a small portion as a leftover.

 The recipe (serves 4-5)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g / 14oz tender stem or purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped (I used a pinch of dried chilies)
  • 75g / 3oz butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 30g / 1oz Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 x 500g / 17½ oz packs of gnocchi
  1. Warm 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the trimmed broccoli for about 10 minutes or until they begin to crisp up.
  2. In the meantime, warm the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until turning translucent. Then add the minced garlic and chopped chili pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the butter, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, and plenty of seasoning and cook on a low-medium heat until the cheese is melted and everything is combined. If you want, reserve a little sauce to drizzle over the broccoli (I didn’t).
  4. Simmer over low heat while you cook the gnocchi in salted water following the instructions on the pack instructions, which usually is just a couple of minutes.
  5. Reserve about 120ml / ½oz cup of cooking water. Drain the gnocchi, and tip them in the sauce. Stir carefully and add a little of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce, if needed (I used all).
  6. Serve in warm bowls topped with the crispy broccoli, extra Parmesan, and finish with remaining the sauce or a squeeze of lemon juice.IMG_1227

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