This gnocchi primavera is bursting with spring vegetables and an addictive garlic cream sauce. Gnocchi on their own are little pillows of potato and pasta goodness, and with tender-crisp asparagus and snow peas, plus a decadent creamy sauce, they are my new favorite easy weeknight dinner. As I’m typing this there are still pockets of snow that haven’t melted in our yard. I am determined to make spring happen, and if this gnocchi doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will.
Like everyone else out there, I live for a homemade dinner that I can get on the table in twenty minutes. And if it includes a bunch of fresh veggies that my kids will eat? The best. That window between when we all get home from school / work / daycare and when I can get dinner on the table is usually so hectic, knowing I have an easy and healthy-ish recipe like this one in your back pocket is like a ray of sunshine poking through the clouds with choir music playing in the background.
This dish has all of the contrasts I love in a dinner. The gnocchi are soft and tender, the asparagus and snow peas are crisp, and the sauce is a creamy dream. I love that packaged gnocchi are readily available in the grocery store now (I used a De Lallo package from my local store). I haven’t tackled making them from scratch yet, and the packaged version still tastes amazing. If you haven’t tried them, I’d highly recommend the as an easy alternative to a traditional pasta. And hooray for new options of fresh produce! Let’s celebrate the return of cooking with asparagus and peas, even if it doesn’t quite feel like spring outside yet.
- 1 12 oz package gnocchi
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
- 2 cups snow peas, tough end cut off and stem removed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the gnocchi according to the package directions. The gnocchi should be done when the float to the top of the water. Drain and set the gnocchi aside.
- While the water comes to a boil, start making the vegetables and sauce. In a large, deep-sided skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the asparagus and sugar snap peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the drained gnocchi.
- To make the sauce, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Whisk in the flour and stir until the mixture is bubbly and lightly browned, about another minute.
- Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir for another 2 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the parmesan cheese and half and half and continue stirring and cooking until the sauce is your desired consistency. If it gets too thick, you can add a little cream to loosen it.
- Stir the sauce into the gnocchi and vegetables. Serve with extra parmesan cheese, if desired.