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Although I’m leery of creating pasta from scratch, I did learn to make gnocchi more than 35 years ago at a cooking school in Florence. That lesson paid off. This week’s attempt– gnocchi with goat cheese, instead of potato–was sublime. The lemony-broccoli rabe sauce marries so delightfully with the goat cheese pasta. They’re simply made for each other, a perfect pair.

Vegetarian Recipe

Lemon-Broccoli Rabe Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 3 c broccoli rabe (rapini), roughly chopped (Blanch by dipping in boiling water for 1 minute to cut bitter flavour if you prefer)
  • 1 c vegetable stock
  • 1/2 large lemon, juiced
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Vegetarian Recipe
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, celery and carrot. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 30 minutes to caramelize the onion. Add the broccoli rabe and just enough stock to cover. Simmer until all vegetables are very soft (test by pressing with a fork), then purée them in a food processor or blender, and add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat before serving.
Vegetarian Recipe

Goat Cheese Gnocchi Ingredients:

With a big spoon, mix the eggs, salt and 1/2 cup of the flour into the chèvre. Gradually add flour to make a very soft, slightly sticky dough. Chill for 30 minutes. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Spread a small amount of flour on a cutting board. Scoop up a handful of dough and roll it into a long rope shape, at most 1 inch in diameter, then slice diagonally into bite sized pieces.

To test the consistency of the dough: Drop a single gnoccho–singular of gnocchi– into the boiling water and wait 1 minute, then gently stir to make sure it does not stick to the bottom. When the ball floats, take it out with a slotted spoon, and let cool slightly, then taste and if the gnoccho falls apart, or if it is so soft that it turns to mush, add more flour to the dough. If the gnoccho is tender, form the rest of the dough. (I followed the directions and the texture was perfect.)

Vegetarian Recipe

Drop 12 or so gnocchi into the boiling water at a time. As they rise to the surface, take them out with slotted spoon. Put the gnocchi into a casserole dish, then drizzle with the oil, shaking gently to distribute.

Vegetarian Recipe

Reheat the sauce. Carefully toss with the gnocchi, then top with grated Pecorino Romano.  Serves 5.

Goat Cheese Gnocchi in Lemon-Broccoli Rabe Sauce Print Ready Recipe 

Final notes:

  • My co-worker and friend, Helen Lewis, proposed Robin Asbell‘s New Vegetarian book as inspiration. The publisher Chronicle Books gave me permission to post 3 recipes from this lovely book. Ain’t that grand!
  • Have you been searching for advice on How to Eat Wisely?
  • Here is information that you’ve hoped to discover: The Surprising Shortcut to Better Health.
  • Thanks to friend and mentor, Cordon Bleutrained chef, Essie Levin, for assisting the gnocchi preparation and for loving the dish.
  • Enjoy this Goat Cheese Gnocchi in honour of the upcoming cheese holiday, Shavuot.