Posted by Megan | Dinner, Pasta, Vegetarian

Whoa y’all. It’s September. How did that happen? It’s hard to imagine that we moved across the country two months ago, since we already feel settled in and like we’ve lived in Tacoma for a few years…well, at least a few months. We have thoroughly been enjoying our early-onset fall weather, or what we believe is just the normal time the cooler temps arrive around here. The joy it brings us to look at the forecast this week and see highs in the upper 60s and lows in the low 50s/upper 40s brings hope that we will have an extended fall for the first time in…forever. We have grown accustomed to assuming September means fall, but realistically not getting the ideal temps for sweater-weather until mid-October, at best. And even then, it’s never a steady transition in the Southeast. Some days are frigid, others steamy, all in the same week. You get late-season hurricanes and early ice storms. It’s so much of a mix that I think we had given up on the idea of a proper fall. Until now. We can’t wait to see the leaves start turning colors and the sun to produce gorgeous sunsets over the Puget Sound. Yes, we know this means the rain will arrive and yes we know it means the days will get horrendously short in a few months. But for now, as new Northwesterners, we can take in the ambiance and be grateful for the beginning of the best season on the West Coast/Best Coast.

With cool fall evenings brings warm pasta recipes. This one was a hit in our household and can easily be split up. The pasta we chose to use was one of our go-to recipes, Easy Ricotta Gnocchi. We had made a big batch awhile back and portioned it out into 2-serving dinners in our freezer, making it accessible for busy nights. The creamy mushroom sauce can just as easily be used in a variety of ways, either over pasta or a meat of your choosing. Combining them together only made sense to us and Pinch of Yum pulled through with yet another perfect recipe. I don’t know how Lindsay does it over and over again, but I deeply admire and respect the recipes she puts out on the great world wide web for us plebeians to enjoy! We all have our favorite sites and she is definitely in my top 5, if not my #1. I highly recommend you try this combo recipe, though I will warn it’s a bit heavy to have both gnocchi AND the creamy mushroom sauce. But heavy in only the best of ways, especially if you like to treat yourself!

Cooking Notes: I almost skipped the herbes de provence, but chose to make the purchase and I will never be sad I did. If you’re ever fearful of over-priced spices, get thee to your nearest World Market and stock up. We often try to purchase spices we know we won’t use often but that we recognize will make-or-break a recipe, from there, since their prices are super reasonable. Plus, it’s always fun to pick up other treats as well!

Gnocchi with Creamy Mushroom Sauce (adapted from Pinch of Yum; serves 4)
1 batch of frozen homemade gnocchi
4 tbsp butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
16 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp herbes de provence
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Fresh basil, chopped, to serve

Melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium high heat in a medium skillet. Add one clove of garlic and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and softened, then set aside.

Add the other 2 tbsp of butter to the pan and melt again over medium high heat. Add the other 2 cloves of garlic, then sauté until fragrant. Add the flour and herbes de provence. Stir fry for a minute to cook out the flour taste. Add the milk slowly, whisking to incorporate. Let the mixture simmer until thickened. Season with S&P.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Place frozen gnocchi in and boil until all gnocchi floats to the top. Drain, then serve, spooning creamy mushroom sauce over top. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and enjoy!


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