Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gnocci: Something new in a casserole

So I tried out a new casserole for "fish night".The reason it is fish night  is because every other Thursday when we get our box of vegies from SLO Veg, we also signed up for a pound  fresh caught fish, which we cook right away because we just can' t wait! Fish is something we need more of in our diet, so I just want to make sure we have it for dinner at least once a week.

I found this recipe in my latest Better Homes and Gardens magazine. I've never had gnocchi before, so I just wanted to try it out. This recipe was supposed to be things you have on hand, so it called for canned tuna and shelf-stable gnocchi. Of course I used fresh mushrooms, onion, garlic and basil. I cooked the gnocchi and made the sauce this morning before work. I enlisted the Hub again to pop it into the oven and he did a fine job of that. I got to come home and  pour a glass of wine and have some cheese before dinner. We would have had spinach dip, too, but somebody already ate it! Missing out on the spinach, I found the kale. Just after taking the casserole out of the oven, I sliced up the rest of the kale and sauteed it in butter and avocado oil. I added a clove of minced garlic, some coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Dinner was served in bowls with the kale piled up on top. The gnocchi and mushrooms and tuna made a rich, creamy bite of comforting warmth. American Idol provided more entertainment for us as we devoured dinner and chilled out from our hectic work day.

I used Baby Bella mushrooms and found the gnocchi at Cost Plus World Market. I substitued regular milk for the half-and-half. Here is the recipe I referred to from Better Homes and Gardens:

Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Tuna

Makes: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 1/4cup Yield: 5 cups
Prep 15 mins Bake 425° 12 mins to 15 mins Stand 5 mins
Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Tuna
  • 1 16 ounce package shelf-stable potato gnocchi
  • 4 cups assorted small and/or sliced fresh mushrooms, such as shiitake or cremini
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 5 ounce cans solid light tuna packed in oil, drained and broken into chunks
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 1-1/2-quart au gratin baking dish; set aside. In a large pot cook gnocchi in lightly salted water according to package directions; drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook mushrooms and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until tender. Stir in half-and-half. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 to 7 minutes or until liquid begins to thicken. Fold in gnocchi and tuna. Transfer to the prepared dish.
3. Bake, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes. Top with basil leaves, if desired, and crushed red pepper.
From the Test Kitchen Make Ahead: 
Prepare casserole through Step 3. Cover and chill for up to 48 hours. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Uncover; bake for 10 to 12 minutes more or until lightly browned and heated through.

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