This dinner is the perfect way to welcome back spring. Fresh, crisp asparagus spears with bright peas in a light cream sauce with pillowy gnocchi. I’ve made this one twice in the last week and it’s been a hit each time.
The secret is a light and creamy sauce made with lemon juice, heavy cream and parmesan cheese. For this recipe, I’m partial to the finely ground parmesan compared to shreds as it melts more evenly into the sauce. While I love the combination of gnocchi with asparagus, penne, shells or fettuccine would also work great here. I prefer the vacuum-packed gnocchi over frozen gnocchi – you can find it in the pasta aisle.
Asparagus and Pea Gnocchi Recipe
1 package vacuum-packed gnocchi (whole wheat if preferred)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1” pieces
1 cup spring peas, thawed if frozen
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
red pepper flakes, for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi and cook until done, according to package directions. Drain and lightly rinse with water. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, shallots and pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until shallots are slightly soft.
Add the asparagus and cook for 8-10 minutes until asparagus is fork-tender. Add in the peas and cooked gnocchi, cooking for another 2-3 minutes until peas are heated through.
Remove from heat and sprinkle in parmesan cheese, cream and lemon juice. Stir to combine and add crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
Per serving (4): 348 calories, 12g fat, 62mg cholesterol, 338mg sodium, 280mg potassium, 46g carbohydrate, 6.4g fiber, 2g sugars, 13.5g protein
Photo Credit: Alex Caspero