Monday, October 12, 2009

Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts

I've already admitted that sometimes appearance is a bigger motivator than I'd like it to be in my food choices. Another example: a few weeks ago, I saw this recipe for sweet potato gnocchi with Brussels sprouts. Was I inspired by this combination of bitter crucifers with sweet potatoes? Did I thrill to the autumnal resurgence of toasted nuts and root vegetables? Was I excited to finally see a recipe involving my beloved Brussels sprouts, a vegetable that is so rarely invited to the table? Not really. Mostly I thought Oh look! The Brussels sprouts are the same size as the gnocchi! Adorable!

This dish is indeed adorable. But it's also tasty. And easy. While the original recipe involved homemade gnocchi, I went the easy way out and picked up a vacuum-sealed pre-made package. Making gnocchi is indeed worth the effort (more on that sometime later), but mostly because you end up with a dumpling that is much more delicate than its commercial counterpart. In a combination like this, delicacy doesn't matter that much -- you want toothsome gnocchi that will hold their own against Brussels sprouts. And instead of going for simple pan-cooked sprouts as originally called for, I gave them my favorite treatment of oven roasting. The sprouts soften and gain a bit of caramelized sweetness, while maintaining a slight bitter edge. This is rounded out by the depth of the toasted walnuts, and tied together with a sprinkling of grated cheese. With shelf-stable gnocchi, and long-storing nuts, cheese and Brussels sprouts, this very nearly qualifies as a pantry meal. It's one of the easiest and tastiest in that genre that I've had in a long time. Definitely going into the regular rotation.

Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts

inspired by
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts on Seven Spoons

~4 servings

2 lbs brussels sprouts (or less, if you're not as sprout-happy as I am)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb pre-made gnocchi
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
salt and pepper
Parmesan or Romano cheese for serving

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Rinse the Brussels sprouts, and trim off the bottom if needed. Slice in half, and toss with the olive oil until well coated. Spread out in a single layer (roughly) in a casserole dish, and roast at 450, turning occasionally, until they are tender and deep brown in spots, ~30 minutes. Set aside.

When the sprouts are almost done, cook the gnocchi in boiling water according to the manufacturer's directions. Drain. Heat the butter or olive oil in a large skillet or pot over a medium-high flame, and add the gnocchi. Cook until just beginning to brown, and then add the roasted Brussels sprouts. Cook to heat through. Add the walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated cheese.


  1. I would recommend a hard aged pecorino. yummmmm.

  2. I was skeptical about the lack of onions, but the recipe is perfect. I only added pancetta. Quite good.