May 24, 2012

Gnocchi, Sweet Corn and Arugula in Cream Sauce

I love this time of the year. The weather is still mild and the humidity hasn't made life miserable like it does later in the summer. Best of all, there is always ton of inexpensive and abundant produce at the store. Fall and winter are always a little depressing in the fruits and vegetables sections of the grocery stores in my area. I'm lucky if I can find much more than spinach and greens fresh in the middle of the winter and the frozen selection is limited at best. Later in the spring and summer though there are always a ton of fresh vegetables and fruits to select from and I cook with them frequently. The last few years the corn available in my area has been hit or miss. Last summer it was pretty horrible and I only bought it a few times. This year has been the exact opposite, the corn was available early, cheap, and deliciously sweet. So I have been looking around for new corn recipes and  found one for Gnocchi, Sweet Corn and Arugula in Cream Sauce in the May issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.
This recipe has 7 ingredients (8 if you chose to use crushed red pepper). It takes 20 minutes start to finish and makes 4 servings. So I went into this recipe with the intention of buying fresh corn, however, as you can see from the photo I ended up using frozen. Thanks to grocery shopping with a very hyper 3-year-old and a complaining 6-year-old my fresh corn plans were forgotten and I had to rely on the frozen corn in my freezer. I had no problems finding any of the other ingredients. For the dried herbs I used oregano, I love using dried oregano in pasta dishes. Instead of using a dutch oven, I used a stock pot to cook the pasta and then moved the finished pasta and cream sauce to a large saute pan to finish cooking. I have a very large and heavy dutch oven that takes a very long time to boil for pasta, so I prefer to use a pasta or stockpot instead. Additionally, I let my arugula cook until wilted. The recipe just states to stir in the arugula, for me I like my arugula a little more wilted since it has such a strong peppery taste. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.
This is a very easy recipe to make. The prep work is very minimal and I was pleased that the amount of salt indicated was perfect. Oftentimes recipes vastly underestimate the required amount of salt, but this recipe was spot-on. My two boys were unsure of the gnocchi since I have only served it to them a few times, but once they tried it they loved it. My husband and I liked that it was different than previous pasta recipes that we had tried and the cream sauce had a nice flavor. We both felt that the arugula is somewhat unnecessary. The flavor of the cream sauce is dominant so the peppery flavor of the arugula doesn't really show through. It's a great way to add greens into your diet, but didn't do much for the flavor of the dish. Since it isn't essential for flavor you could substitute spinach or leave out the arugula completely if you chose. Overall, a very simple pasta recipe.

For the recipe go to Gnocchi, Sweet Corn and Arugula in Cream Sauce. (registration required)
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