browned butter gnocchi with spinach

 
 
Honestly, the beginning of 2013 kind of kicked my ass. There was a New Year's self injury incident, I lost my friend's necklace, and followed that by starting classes on the 2nd, then getting miserably sick, proceeding to desperately scramble to catch up with physio, and apparently I thought it was a good idea to sign up for extracurriculars rather than using that time to bake cookies.
 
What I haven't been doing is spending much time in the kitchen. This is the first thing I've properly cooked in about a week. Fittingly, it's a really simple dish, perfect for getting back in the groove. Gnocchi and spinach, topped with brown butter and pine nuts and a little parmesan. I think it took about 15 minutes to make this, and that's including boiling water. It tastes pretty much exactly like you'd expect: chewy pillows of potato with the nuttiness of browned butter.

 
This is a dish for January. Not for the lofty resolutions of January, but for those moments when you are desperately missing the comfort of Christmas, but don't want to cheat terribly on your new diet. For those moments when you realize your determination to stay organized and on top of things didn't last two weeks into 2013. For those moments when you have 20 minutes for dinner but will go broke if you  eat out again. Simply, for the January of our real life, not our fantasy life. At least that life will be delicious.
 
 
Browned butter gnocchi with spinach
Adapted from Cooking Light Jan/Feb 2013
 
Note: The mixing olive oil and butter for browning is a neat trick. I found I could brown the butter more quickly with less burning or popping. Still keep an eye on it.
 
1 16 ounce package potato gnocchi (I used tricolor)
Salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
 
Bring salted water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add gnocchi, cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
 
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and olive oil; melt and swirl together. Cook 5-7 minutes or until butter turns brown. Add gnocchi, spinach, and black pepper to the skillet. Toss to coat. Divide gnocchi between bowls and sprinkle with pine nuts and cheese. Add salt to taste, and enjoy.

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