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I whipped this dish up in about twenty minutes for my family. I had to go to bartending class, so I ate it later on. Gnocchi are small italian dumplings made with potatoes; some people don’t even classify it as pasta. Catherine De Medici brought spinach to France and, to honor her italian heritage, decided to call any pasta dish containing spinach, Florentine. Don’t let its difficult pronunciation stop you from ordering the dish. It can be pronounced Nah-kee and Nyah-kee (Don’t worry, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong too!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 17.5 oz gnocchi
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on size)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (maybe two tablespoons)
  • 1/2 bag of spinach (baby spinach is a good substitute)
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • white wine
  • 1/2 jar of tomato sauce (I just poured until it looked good)
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste (comes in a tube or can)
  • Some type of cream (I used half and half)
  • 2 teaspoons parmesan
  • fresh basil
  • 1/2 large tomato
  • garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper

1. Sauté minced or pressed garlic and diced onion in the oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper.

2. When the onions finish sweating (become translucent), add the spinach (roughly chop if the leaves are large). S and P.

3. Add the butter for richness and a couple “glugs” of white wine. After fully incorporating the tomato paste, add the tomato sauce and the chopped tomatoes.

4. Simmer and season with garlic powder and oregano. Add at least two splashes of cream. The color should be a little lighter, yet should still look like a marinara sauce.

5. Squeeze the lemon, sprinkle with parmesan, and add a generous handful of basil leaves, chopped.

2. Boil the gnocchi for about 2 minutes, strain well, and mix with the sauce.

7. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake. My parents just melted the cheese in the microwave. I have no problem with that. If you choose to bake it, all you have to do is melt the cheese.

I love this dish because one of my favorite things is spinach. Gnocchi have a luxurious, soft texture and the sauce is a little more than your average marinara, yet is not to heavy.

P.S. There’s no mozzarella cheese added in the picture.

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