Today, I picked up a couple of handfuls of fresh ricotta gnocchi at Whole Foods. I first thought I’d use some homemade tomato sauce that was in the freezer. Then, as dinnertime grew closer, I thought I’d make an alfredo sauce with parmesan, Meyer lemon zest and juice.
Before I started the sauce, I heated up some unsalted butter and sauteed half a chopped shallot until golden. Added half a bag of baby spinach and cooked it until soft. Sprinkled a little ground nutmeg on top. Put the spinach into a dish and rinsed out the skillet.
To the clean, dried skillet, I added a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon or so of flour sprinkled to make a bechamel sauce and smoothed the flour until it was blended. Added a splash of whole milk – would have used cream if I had it, but thought it might okay with freshly grated parmesan, a drop of honey and the Meyer lemon zest and juice. I also added a swath of truffle salt. Yum!
It took a little tasting to get the proportion of lemon juice and parmesan cheese to taste right – but it came out really well. I turned off the heat under the sauce. In the meantime, I trimmed and cooked artichokes from Trader Joe’s in a large pot.
When ready to eat, we took our time eating the artichokes first, dipped in a curry mayonnaise dip of Hellmann’s, curry powder and beau monde powder. Once we were enjoying the hearts, I turned the boiling water up for cooking the gnocchi. Into the salted water, the gnocchi cooked and rose to the top, added a glass of cold water and it rose again. When I was certain the pasta was cooked, I drained it really well, shaking the colander over the sink, and added it gently into the alfredo sauce. Spooned over the hot pasta, I plated it into our shallow bowls and added the sauteed spinach on the side. More parmesan was grated over the top and our dinner was ready. Yum!