Thursday, September 9, 2010

wednesday - chickpea, kale, & squash gnocchi

Last night I made a spin on this recipe from using chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), kale, ambercup squash, and whole wheat gnocchi. This was a hearty, filling meal, perfect for the chilly & cloudy weather we're having here this week. If you're unfamiliar with gnocchi, it's a potato-based dumpling that can usually be found in the pasta aisle (shelf-stable) or frozen. While it is mostly made from potatoes, it does have some flour added--Trader Joe's now carries whole wheat gnocchi, which is what I used last night. Courtney and I preferred the whole wheat to the regular gnocchi we usually use--it felt more substantial and had a nuttier flavor. I substituted kale for the spinach, and I think it gave the dish more substance than spinach would have. I bought an ambercup squash at the farmers' market this week, which I peeled and sliced instead of the butternut squash. I used about half in last night's recipe, and cubed and roasted the other half in preparation for tonight's curried squash soup. I did use the currants that the recipe called for, but really, they were hardly noticeable--I think they could be omitted or another dried fruit could be substituted (e.g., dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, or even chopped prunes). I canned a batch of homemade chicken broth recently, which is what I used instead of vegetable broth, but either would work (even water would be fine if you don't have any broth on hand).

Chickpea, Kale, & Squash Gnocchi

1 pound frozen or shelf-stable gnocchi, preferably whole wheat
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced peeled ambercup or butternut squash (1- to 2-inch-long slices)
1/2 cup sliced shallots (1-2 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups fresh kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1 14-ounce can chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

If using frozen gnocchi, cook in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and pat dry. (If using shelf-stable gnocchi, skip this step.)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, squash, shallots, and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in kale, broth, currants, sage, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the squash is almost cooked through and the kale is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add chickpeas and the gnocchi and cook, gently stirring, about 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.

Makes 4 servings.

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