Pasta dish reflects spring's maybe-maybe not feel


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Posted Online: April 09, 2013, 10:38 am
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The unpredictable nature of spring — balmy one moment, frigid the next — makes us hanker for dishes that reflect the season's maybe-maybe not feel.

And that was the inspiration for this dish, which blends one of the heartiest of winter pastas — potato gnocchi — with asparagus, a light vegetable that has come to represent one of surest signs of spring. We wanted protein, too, but nothing as heavy as meat, nor as light as beans or tofu. Shrimp, which pair so nicely with asparagus anyway, were the perfect choice.

To tie it all together, we started robust with some crumbled Gorgonzola. And to balance those big bold flavors, a light squeeze of lemon juice.

Spring gnocchi with asparagus and shrimp
Gnocchi pasta can be found in three sections of the grocer — the freezer section (along with the frozen ravioli), the pasta aisle (where they are packaged in shelf-stable containers) and alongside the fresh pasta in the refrigerated case.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Two 16- to 18-ounce packages gnocchi
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound peeled, deveined raw shrimp
4 ounces watercress
1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the lemon zest and cook until the butter begins to be fragrant and just begins to brown. Immediately add the salt, black pepper, asparagus and shrimp. Cook until the asparagus and shrimp are tender and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the gnocchi to the pan and toss to coat and mix. Divide the gnocchi between 6 serving plates, then top each portion with watercress, Gorgonzola and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Nutrition information per serving: 510 calories; 120 calories from fat (24 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 150 mg cholesterol; 70 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 12 g sugar; 31 g protein; 1190 mg sodium.

















 




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  Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




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