Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

I came upon this recipe while trying to find a way to use up some leftover potatoes. Often I chop them up a little and throw them into a saucepan as hash browns to have with breakfast. Or I use them to make Bubble and Squeak. I found this recipe, calling for baked potatoes strained thru a ricer, mixed with egg and flour to make a dough, and was intrigued. But with no idea how to actually say the name of the thing I was making.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

If you had been a fly on my wall listening to my pitiful attempts to pronounce “gnocchi”, you’d have been horribly embarrassed for me. I pronounced the “g” sound, and instead of saying “key” for the cchi, I said “chee” like the start of cheese. It was really sad. My husband laughed right in my face and asked what on earth I was saying. If you are interested, here’s how it is supposed to sound. And, how my kids responded when I taught them how to say it. Talk about blind leading the blind.

 

Gnocchi comes in many varieties and have been around since the days of the Romans, when soldiers would mix a semolina porridge-like dough with eggs.  Since I’m fairly certain the Roman legions didn’t go around with ricers in their tunics, I thought I could probably figure out a way to make these without one too. Even if it is a potato variety. Romans didn’t own Cuisinarts either…but I do! I tossed my leftover potatoes in there and started whirling away.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Pulse until no lumps remain. Then with your clean hands, combine the potato mash with  two egg yolks, some salt and flour.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Until you have a firm, but still a little sticky dough.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Cut into four even pieces and roll each into a long rope.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Using a pastry cutter (or knife) and a fork. Cut into small pieces and then press with the fork to make ridges.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. These can be boiled and served immediately, or frozen on a cookie sheet then transferred to a plastic bag in the freezer for up to a month. At this point, they reminded me of butter mints.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

You need two burners going to cook these babies up. One for the water so you can boil your little potato pasta gnocchis. And one for everything good in the world to get down in. Butter, garlic and Italian parsley hanging out. You know that’s gonna be good. Let the butter melt, then toss in the garlic and parsley just as the gnocchi dumplings start floating.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Dunk your gnocchi into the pot of boiling water. They’ll bob up to the surface as they cook. Let them go another minute or two (no longer!) and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

And transfer them to your butter/parsley/garlic pan. Swish the pan around to get them all coated nicely (this should take under a minute).

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Slap those gorgeous babies into a bowl, sprinkle some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and go to town. Every little nugget is perfectly soft and wrapped in flavor. Like a cheesy, fragrant pillow of buttery goodness.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

The original recipe said this makes 4 servings. They must be serving dainty little princess eaters. I ate half the recipe single-handedly. If you are serving this as a first course, you could probably get away with a smaller portion. But as a main dish, you’d need to double the recipe to get 4 servings, unless you’re friends with really tiny people. Or, keep it simple and just eat all of these yourself. I won’t judge.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese
adapted from Food and Wine

2 pounds leftover potatoes (about 4 – enough to yield about 2 cups flesh)
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Garlic, minced finely
Italian parsley, chopped

Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes (or in your food processor). Transfer 2 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the 1/2 cup of flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet.
In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Toss garlic and chopped parsley into the butter just before adding the gnocchi. Using a slotted spoon, add the gnocchi to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Make Ahead The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.

Basil Butter Garlic Bread

Bread. Glorious bread. I blame my mother and my English heritage for my adoration of bread. Soft, doughy perfection. And butter. I think I love butter even more. Creamy delicious butter. Mmmmm. This Basil Butter Garlic Bread is out of this world amazing. It cranks up the awesome from your standard garlic bread with the addition of basil and parsley. Then it’s topped off with melted cheese. Oh baby.


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Chicken piccata always ends up being my second choice when it is on the menu at a restaurant. I have good intentions, but just never end up ordering it. Something about capers I think. They are one of those foods that I feel like I’m supposed to like, but have never really fully joined the bandwagon. I feel the same way about pesto. I try it all the time, and it’s always just ok. “Fine” and “ok” don’t cut it when I’m paying for a meal. I hate wasting a dinner out on food I’m not going to be in love with. So, the piccata always takes a back seat. I decided to make some myself to verify the caper conundrum. Do I like them? Or not? I found this recipe on my cousin’s blog and since she LOVES chicken piccata, I figured if any recipe was gonna float my boat, this one would. I was right. It was excellent. Capers and all.

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I totally need to go to the grocery store. Big time. I’ve been stalling for days. I don’t know why. Maybe because in the summer all I want to eat is fruit. Or maybe I just needed something to procrastinate about that would make me actually fold the 5 loads of clean laundry sitting on my bed. Mission accomplished! Whatever the reason, I needed a solution for dinner that did not involve any fancy ingredients. I scoured my freezer and found a bag of frozen dinner rolls and a tube of chicken sausage. I knew there was a dinner in those ingredients, it just needed a couple pantry basics to make it work. A nice jar of marinara sauce, mozzarella and some pasta did the trick. This braided spaghetti was absolutely delicious, mondo easy and will most certainly become a part of my regular rotation.

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Meatless Monday strikes again! This is one of my very favorite pasta dishes. Full of veggie flavor and rich creamy pasta. It comes together quickly and is good for parties, potlucks or just an evening at home with the family.

Not the most photogenic dinner in the world but oh so tasty. Enjoy!

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake
adapted from Budget Savy Diva

14 oz of Orecchiette Pasta ( or short pasta)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup of Chopped Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic ( Minced)
1 Cup of Sour Cream
4 oz of Cream Cheese ( Room Temperature)
3/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
10 Oz of Spinach ( Make sure to squeeze excess moisture, after it has been thawed of course)
13.5 Can of Artichoke Hearts rinsed and chopped
1 Cup of Mozzarella
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven To 425°
  2. Cook pasta according to the box. Keep 1/4 Cup of the Pasta Water before you drain the cooked pasta.
  3. Heat oil in pan and cook onions for 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. In a large bowl – Mix Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Parmesan, onions, and garlic. Add Pasta and mix.
  5. Stir in spinach, artichokes, 1/4 cup of cooking liquid from the pasta, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and 1/2 Cup of Mozzarella
  6. Place mixture into greased 2.5 – 3 qt casserole dish and place the rest of mozzarella cheese on top
  7. Place in the oven till golden brown on top – about 10 – 15 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Chicken Parmesan Bake

Chicken Parmesan is my absolute favorite meal. While growing up I got to pick my birthday meal and chicken parm was my choice every single year. I never grow tired of it. It is perfection. Juicy chicken wrapped in crispy breading all smothered in rich marinara sauce and drenched with melty cheese – oh I love it. I’m not a fan of the preparation however. If only it was my birthday every day so my mom would make it for me all the time…in her kitchen. I hate that Chicken Parmesan destroys every counter I own and dirties a full load of dishes. All the pans for egg wash, flour and breadcrumbs. Not to mention the frying which in inevitably splatters grease on whatever brand new favorite shirt I’m wearing. How I forget to put an apron on EVERY TIME is beyond me.

When I first saw this recipe, I was skeptical. How on earth could a casserole type baked dish produce the crisp breaded goodness of my favorite dinner? How? I pictured a soggy yucky mess. Breadcrumbs turned into a goopy pile. *shudder* Then, I read the secret ingredient. Croutons. Oh genius chef who thought of that, you have my devotion forever.

My joy and elation is tempered by a huge problem with this recipe. It is so incredibly easy, and amazingly good that I already want to make it again. My oven isn’t even cool yet and I’m dreaming of the next time I can eat this. It took less than 10 minutes to throw together, used one dish (ONE!) and is every bit as delicious as the full-fledged tornado in the kitchen that is Chicken Parmesan. I’m trying to convince myself that since it’s baked, I can get away with eating it more frequently than its fried inspiration – but the convincing was not going well until I actually did a calorie calculator. Under 400 calories per serving. Oh baby. This just became my favorite meal.

A quick photo spread of the dish coming together. It is really just a dump it all in the pan meal. Layer chicken on top of garlicy olive oil. Then marinara, fresh basil, two cheeses, croutons (genius) and more cheese.

I almost started singing when this came out of the oven all golden and cheesy. The smell overwhelmingly perfect. Like your kitchen has transformed into the best Italian restaurant you’ve ever been to. Make this. Immediately. It is glorious. The croutons stay crisp and perfectly toasted on top, but infuse with the flavor of garlic, basil and marinara on the bottom. The chicken is moist and delicious, coated with saucy cheesy goodness. You will love it.

 

Chicken Parmesan Bake
adapted from Food Wishes

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
pepper/Italian seasonings
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (24 ounces of chicken)
2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup chopped basil
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
4 oz Parmesan, grated
1 (5-oz) package garlic croutons

Pour olive oil into the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish.  Crush garlic and swoosh around in the oil until the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
Lay chicken breasts on top of the garlicy olive oil. Season with pepper and italian seasoning (or you could use red pepper flakes if you like a little kick)
Pour marinara sauce on top of chicken and coat evenly.
Chop basil and sprinkle over marinara sauce.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese over the marinara/basil.
Dump croutons in a single layer on top of cheeses and top with remaining cheeses.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-55 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts). Until thermometer reads 155 when inserted into chicken. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes.

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This is the easiest and most elegant appetizer to whip together ever. People go nuts over it, but it’s amazingly simple to prepare. I made this for my son’s third birthday. It was Cars themed and my husband said I should make something with tomatoes and put a sign next to it that said “Tow Mater”. He cracks me up. Pretty sure he thought I was going to just throw some cherry tomatoes in a bowl or something, but I decided to do this instead. [Read more…]

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