Today’s Meatless Monday is kind of a deconstructed red sauce atop plump, tender gnocchi. Garden fresh tomatoes, portobello mushrooms, peppers, red onion, garlic and basil combine for a delightfully light, refreshing, but filling recipe.
Very often I look for inspiration for a dish not in recipes, but in images. Photographs can give you a real sense of what a recipe will taste like…at least for me. Recently, I had some gnocchi in the pantry and wanted to use it for a Meatless Monday recipe, so I sought inspiration from images I called up online. Since I had garden-fresh tomatoes and some portobello mushrooms too, I searched for gnocchi with tomato mushroom sauce.
My inspiration came from not wanting to do what I saw in images. I decided that the ingredients I wanted to use needed to shine. So, rather than cook these gorgeous vegetables down into a sauce, I resolved to keep their fresh beauty intact.
By doing that, this recipe turned into the ideal busy weeknight meal. It is ready, from start to finish, in about 20 minutes! One wonderful thing about gnocchi is that it cooks to perfection in just a couple of minutes. Really. Gnocchi, depending on the type you buy (mine was semi-fresh sealed in plastic) will cook in anywhere from 2-4 minutes! As soon as the gnocchi rises to the top of the boiling water, it’s done!
The vegetables I used for this recipe, fresh tomatoes, peppers, red onions, portobello mushrooms, I barely cooked. I started with the mushrooms and onions in just a titch of olive oil. I added the peppers for just a couple of minutes, then added the garlic for another minute. At the very end I added the diced tomatoes, removed the pan from the heat and covered it. Basically, the tomatoes just heated through.
I tossed the vegetables with the gnocchi, added salt, pepper, fresh basil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and grated Parmesan cheese. Done.
You could easily transform this dish using any garden-fresh vegetable combination you like. The possibilities are endless! So, keep this in mind for super-quick weeknight meals.
This version was so very tasty. It retained all of the fresh flavour, vibrant colour and texture of the vegetables…I savoured every morsel. Do, try it!
- 1 pound packaged gnocchi, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup red onion, sliced thin
- 1 cup sweet bell peppers, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups)
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 splash balsamic vinegar
- Place a medium-sized saucepan filled with salted water on to boil.
- While you are sauteeing the vegetables, toss in the gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the water, drain and set aside.
- In a medium-sized skillet, over medium heat (or just a titch above medium) add the olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot (about 2 minutes) add the mushrooms and onions.
- Saute for about 2 minutes.
- Add the peppers and continue to saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue to saute for about 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, cover and remove from heat.
- Place the drained gnocchi in a bowl and add the tomato mixture.
- Salt and pepper, to taste, then add the basil, Parmesan cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar and toss.
- Serve immediately.