I haven’t had a lot of energy or creative cooking inspiration lately, for whatever reason. I can’t pin down exactly what it is, but I feel like time is slipping by and I can’t figure out where it’s going. Lately when it comes to cooking, I just to get it done and relax.
In that spirit, and because maybe you’re feeling the same, here’s my my cheaty cheesy sauce. The only caveat – you need to use an actually-flavorful goat cheese. (Step away from the cheap stuff.) Try to get some delicate tasting goat-milk cheeses that don’t have the “goatiness” of a French chevre. Mine is from the local Wobbly Bottom Farms, a new favorite. (Also… that name!)
Cheese is one of the greatest creations of all time. Truly. It’s up there with the internet, Mad Men and contactless credit cards. Did you know that one of the oldest cheeses ever found was from 2300 BCE? So while Stonehenge was being built in England, cheese was being eaten in Egypt.
Cheese is a marvel, I tell you.
Gnocchi with Cheaty Cheesy Sauce (and veggies)
Total time: 30 mins including chopping and cooking
Note: This recipe is easy to halve, or even make for 1, and uncooked gnocchi is freezable
Cheaty Cheesy Sauce
120 mL (1/2 cup) creme fraiche or sour cream
50 g (2 oz) soft goat cheese
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp finely milled salt (or table salt)
Gnocchi with Spinach and Mushrooms
1 kg (2 lbs) gnocchi
60 g (2 cups) fresh spinach, chopped
75 g (about 1 cup) mushrooms, your choice, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 knob of butter (about 1 tbsp)
1/2 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 tbsp of fresh chopped parsley (optional)
In a wide, flat skillet or frying pan, melt the butter until it’s liquid and hot. If you sprinkle a bit of water on it, it should sizzle.
Throw in the leeks and sweat them over low heat until they soften, about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir them frequently so they don’t burn.
Add in the mushrooms and cook them until they release all their liquid. At that point, turn up the heat slightly and cook them for a few minutes longer.
Add in the garlic, stir it up and cook for another 30 seconds, until you can smell that lovely garlicy perfume.
Then toss in the spinach for another 30 seconds, until just wilted.
Take your veggies off the heat.
If you’ve made your own gnocchi – great work! If you haven’t, don’t worry, it still cooks the same way. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook your gnocchi until it floats, which usually takes about 2-3 minutes.
Drain the gnocchi, saving the water (for now), and add it back into the pot. Add in the veggies.
If you’re feeling super-cheaty, you can stir in the creme fraiche, then the milk, then the goat cheese, until it’s melted and incorporated. Stir carefully, not vigorously, or you’ll end up with mashed potatoes. If it feels a little dry, add a tablespoon at a time of the gnocchi water.
Otherwise, quickly combine all the cheaty cheesy sauce ingredients in a small bowl, stir them together and then in with the gnocchi and veg.
If you have parsley on hand, sprinkle it over each serving of gnocchi. And … you’re done!