Quick Gnocchi and Vegetables

This meal is for anyone who wants Italian food fast, but doesn’t always have the money during the week to eat out.

Feaston has your back: Roll some key Italian ingredients into your grocery budget.

Do that and you will be eating like a king (or I guess Roman emperor (pope?)) in no time flat.

From package to table in about 15 minutes.

From package to table in about 15 minutes.

It’s one thing to eat out on the weekends. You know, right after you get paid, can take the time to go with friends, etc. etc. But during the week, it just makes you feel a little lazy and it makes your wallet feel even worse.

So build some great tasting meals into your grocery budget. What I am talking about most specifically is packaged gnocchi. It will keep in your pantry for a long time and it’s ready whenever you are.

Now, I have never tried to make my own gnocchi, but I hear it’s a giant pain in the ass. I will leave that for the fine restaurant chefs. So packaged it is at home. Whatever, it’s the middle of the week.

I buy this kind. But national brand is available in the pasta aisle.

I buy this kind. But national brand is available in the pasta aisle.

I first started eating this about two years ago when I stumbled upon it while shopping. I figured, what the  hell. And threw it in the cart. It became a meal that I put in my regular rotation of dinners. When you are cooking for one, you’re not always the most creative.

To fully appreciate this meal, it must be eaten in front of the television while watching an episode of Sopranos.

At first, I wasn’t really sure what to make with it. So I took the simple route: Parmesan cheese, basil and olive oil.

It was deelicious.

While you’re more than welcome to try that route, I went with something a little more dressed up this time. I added some fresh (and canned) vegetables to get a little more nutrition.

First thing is to get two pots of water boiling. In one, begin steaming a head of broccoli, or really any other veggie you think might compliment your meal. The other pot is for your pasta, which we’ll get to in a minute.

But first, get out a small frying pan and fill it with a healthy helping of olive oil. Set the stove to medium. When the oil is nice and hot, thrown in a couple of cloves of finely diced or crushed garlic.

Enjoy the smell.

Enjoy the smell.

Let that sizzle and then add in one can of diced tomatoes. Move them about a bit just to warm them up. In the meantime, tend to your pasta water which should be boiling by now. Throw all of the gnocchi in the pot.

Now the cool thing about packaged gnocchi is it has a built-in timer.

Here’s what I mean: When the gnocchi floats, it’s done. This should only take about five minutes.

See? Like this.

See? Like this.

Drain the gnocchi. Serve the veggies over the gnocchi balls and top it all with the garlic infused olive oil. For a little extra zest, throw on some fresh basil or oregano. Or, obviously, a little Parmesan cheese.

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