We all know that even though we may like to do things, such as playing sports, cooking, reading, and gardening, we don’t always do these things. Why? My least favorite four letter word holds the answer: T-I-M-E. It’s a mystery how it escapes us somedays (except when we get distracted watching Michael Bublé videos…or is that just me?), but we never seem to have enough. As a result, the things we like to do become the things that we do occasionally. But wouldn’t it be awesome if “occasionally” didn’t have to mean once a month or worse? What if it could be more often? What would it take?
Consider the hobby of cooking. For a woman who can work anywhere from eight to thirteen hours a day, there is one thing that will ALWAYS get in my way…TIME. So I have learned to cut corners! Wam-bam-thank-you-ma’am! These moments come at me usually after 8 o’clock at night when I am starving and really really over peanut butter and jelly. Tonight, my gastronomic obsession with gnocchi and a pack of this potato goodness purchased 4 months ago is what inspired me. I wondered why I had passed it up for months and, stay with me as I realize that this sounds like the LAZIEST thing ever. It shamefully hit me that I literally couldn’t be bothered to boil the water! And with gnocchi, it’s not just the boiling! You gotta make sure those royal pillows don’t get stuck to the bottom of your pan (apparently they have separation anxiety)! Then you gotta catch the suckers as soon as they float to the top and gingerly spoon them out three at a time while all of the other ones cry out at you, “I’m melting! I’m melting! Oh, what a world, what a world!” (yes…my food talks to me. Deal with it.). I see this starchy drama unfold in my mind each time I look at the package, shudder, and go for the jar of Trader Joes Creamy PB. Well, tonight, I decided to conquer the divas and treat them like bronchitis, cuz even Sweet Brown knows that ain’t nobody got time for that. Say “hello” to my epiphany. All lazy anti-water-boilers out there, you’re welcome.
In 18 minutes I had a delicious, nutritious and warm homemade bowl of Gnocchi Primavera that used to take me 25 minutes. And the only reason that this didn’t take less time is because I had to run outside to my garden for tomatoes and herby goodness. Forgive my lack of preparation.
3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to cover bottom of pan)
1 heaping TB crushed garlic
1 lb Frozen Sliced Zucchini (I like the frozen as the ice adds moisture)
17 oz Fornari Potato Gnocchi
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1 c water
4 TB grated Cravero Parmigiano (or whatever you have on hand)
30 Teardrop red/yellow tomatoes
2 sprigs Rosemary
10 large Basil leaves
1. Heat olive oil in cast-iron skillet/pan (I’m a Le Creuset fan).
2. Throw in and toss garlic until browned.
3. Throw in and toss zucchini until ice melts. Keep burners on medium-high heat.
4. Dump in gnocchi pillows and toss in mixture for 2 minutes until evenly coated and warmed.
5. Add in water and turn heat to medium. Cover and steam/cook for 5 minutes
6. Slice tomates lengthwise. Wash herbs and let sit; Do not dry or cut.
7. Stir gnocchi and add in parmiggiano. Cover again and cook for 2 more minutes.
8. Add tomatoes to gnocchi. In your hands, gather all of the herbs and tear in chunks over the gnocchi. Once again, you could chop them but a) I like the rustic, non-uniform look it gives, b) I love that herbal burst of Italy that mates with the steam for a Aroma Therapy baby and 3) I aint’ got no time for that.
9. Toss tomatoes and herbs until evenly mixed. Cover and let cook for another 3 minutes.
10. As my Mamela always says, “En Guete!”