With the passing of Labor Day, I realize that summer is essentially over. No more white pants, straw handbags, yadda, yadda, yadda. However, according to the calendar, the first day of fall isn’t until September 22nd, which is why I think Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables from the June 2009 issue of Everyday Food still fits the dinner bill fantastically. My grocery stores are still brimming with the essential ingredients – zucchini or summer squash, grape tomatoes, and basil – and I’m going to continue to enjoy summer’s produce bounty while it lasts.
First, I prepped my ingredients so I could have everything lined up and ready to go for the skillet. I quartered and sliced 2 pounds of zucchini, halved a pint of grape tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup of fresh basil, grated Pecorino Romano cheese to yield 2 tablespoons, and juiced a lemon to yield 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
In a large skillet, I heated 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and then added the sliced zucchini and 2 teaspoons of minced garlic. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and cooked it, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini was crisp-tender (about 4 – 5 minutes). Next, I added the halved grape tomatoes and continued cooking the mixture, still stirring occasionally, until it was juicy (about 2 minutes more).
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, I cooked 1 pound of gnocchi according to package directions. (I buy vacuum-packed gnocchi at Sunflower Market; they usually cook in about 4 minutes.) Reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, I drained the gnocchi and added it to the zucchini-tomato mixture in the skillet. I tossed everything together, adding enough of the cooking liquid to create a sauce. (I used about half of the liquid.) I removed the skillet from the heat and stirred in the chopped basil, grated cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter, and the reserved lemon juice before serving.
This dish is another winner! I think there are quite a few similarities between this recipe and the Pasta with Zucchini and Toasted Almonds I made earlier this summer. Both were incredibly delicious, but I think the defining factor for this recipe is the richness of the sauce. It’s amazing what one little tablespoon of butter can do. I think I also have to vote for gnocchi over linguine any day… There’s just something about the light yet chewy texture of the potato dumplings that really does it for me. Mmm, mmm, mmm.
Recipe link: Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables