Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta
We always appreciate you joining us for this monthly event where a group of ladies and one gent in two neighbouring countries get together on the first Wednesday of every month to create a delicious meal from appetizers to dessert with a theme in mind. In its fourth year this is a team effort where we continue to share a love for healthy eating and living. We look forward each month to strengthening our bonds, and enjoying each others company virtually. The party goes on for days!!
Here at the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club we have dreamed up a menu on the healthier side without giving up any of the comfort you find in delicious food. This months menu "Why Don't We Go Italian" was chosen by our very own Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie. Here at the Virtual Supper Club we do love our Italian food. It seems to appear more often than any other theme. Italians are known for taking ‘simple’ dishes and basic ingredients to the height of perfection which is easy to do with quality ingredients.
So what have we brought to the table this month…..
To start us off Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie brings the piece de resistance with Parmesan Sage Crusted Pork Chops.
Jerry of A Life Lived easily coaxes us with a fresh and lively Melon Proscuitto Salad with Parmigiano.
Sandi of Whistlestop Cafe Cooking treats us to one of her favourites Tuscan White Bean Soup with Proscuitto.
Originally I was bringing along a gnocchi browned in butter, but, as the snow fell on the Okanagan I began thinking more about Spring and decided upon Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta. So good, I made it twice.
Susan of The Spice Garden rounds out our meal with a heavenly Warm Caramelized Pears with Clove Zabaglione. Did I say heaven.
On to the recipe...
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi or homemade
2 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmesan cheese
Cook gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep warm.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and sauté 3 minutes or until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
Add sliced shallots and trimmed asparagus to the pan. Sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add gnocchi, pancetta, reserved cooking liquid, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Note: I like my gnocchi to be crispy on the outside so omit the pre cooking step. I add the gnocchi at the same time as the ballots and asparagus.
Jackie Mills, MS, RD, Cooking Light
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