It was officially spring two weeks ago, but today it’s gray and overcast and the wind is biting and even my dog is avoiding going outside.
I love the fresh food and flavors of springtime cooking, but seeing as I’ve spent most of today under an electric blanket, I wanted some sort of comfort food as well. So here’s what I came up with.
This Lemon-Rosemary Gnocchi has the fresh, bright flavors of spring paired with a delicious, warm creamy sauce that makes it perfect for the post-winter-pre-spring blues. The soft gnocchi, indulgent pancetta, and warm cream make a surprisingly wonderful marriage with the bold peas, fresh lemon, and fragrant rosemary. It’s also a quick one-pot dish, which is my favorite kind for so many reasons.
What else to put on the menu? I’d recommend serving with steamed veggies or roasted asparagus on the side. For dessert: a viewing of Enchanted April (1991). This sweet film, in the style of a Merchant-Ivory type production, tells the story of four women escaping the dreary winter who meet while on vacation in Italy. The beautiful surroundings and new friendships revitalize their lives and opens the door for love. A perfect viewing to escape a dreary day.
Cooking Time: 30 min
2 lbs potato gnocchi
3 T olive oil
1 lb chicken breast
5 oz diced pancetta
2 heaping tsp minced garlic
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
Zest from 2 lemons
3 T butter
Juice from 1 lemon
1 c heavy cream
1 c grated parmesan
1 c peas
salt and pepper to taste
Cook the gnocchi according to the package’s instructions. Before straining, collect ¼ cup pasta water. Set pasta and pasta water aside.
Dice the chicken so that it’s roughly the same size as the gnocchi. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large pan, and then add the diced chicken along with half the pancetta and half of the garlic. Cook until chicken is lightly browned and the pancetta is crispy. Remove any excess fat and take the cooked meat out of the pan; set aside.
Add the rest of the pancetta and garlic into the pan. Once the pancetta is crispy, add in the butter, lemon zest, and chopped rosemary. Once the butter is melted, add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan. Slowly add the cream, stirring constantly, then sprinkle in the parmesan. Stir until the parmesan is melted and the sauce is creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste (I just added a few cracks of pepper).
Add the cooked chicken back in, stirring until hot. Then add cooked gnocchi and pasta water. Finally, add the peas and stir until hot.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of parmesan and lemon zest.