I’ve always thought it was interesting that every culture has variations of many of the same foods. Tacos using ground beef for Mexico, meat sauce in Italy, Picadillo in Cuba. Pork is loved as pulled pork here in the states, schnitzel in Germany, Korea has Bulgogi. Here we love our chicken fried country style, in other countries they have chicken Marsala or chicken curry (I love curry. I’ve only told you that 376 times but it bore repeating.) They all have different ways with chocolate, cabbage, rice and so many more. One of my favorites is all the different cultural uses for potatoes. Yep. Simple homey bumpy potatoes. They have saved people in many countries from starvation and made others wayyyyy too fat for their own good :-P. They can be fried, boiled, mashed, mixed with a gazillion other ingredients and pretty much no matter what you do (unless you add liver to them. ICK! No, I know of no liver and potato recipes but I had to throw in my hatred for liver.) they taste wonderful.
One of my favorite ways is dumplings. Dumplings are another thing that each ethnicity seems to have its own way of cooking. I am torn between German Potato Dumplings and Gnocchi for favored way of eating them. Tonight I played around with Gnocchi. While I love them just slathered with four sticks of butter (WHAT?!) and 3 pounds of cheese, I went a different route tonight. I probably could have used another package of Gnocchi because the final plateful has more other things than it does the dumplings :-p It’s chock full of fresh Asparagus, Portabello mushrooms, Shallots, garlic and chopped ham. It would make either a nice side dish or a fairly hearty meal on its own.It’s simple to make and delicious to eat. I would say though that if you’re really wanting the Gnocchi to be the focal point, either cut down on the other ingredients or double the Gnocchi. personally, as much as I love Gnocchi, I enjoyed it with the full helping of the Spring like Asparagus and the mushrooms and ham. YUM!
GNOCCHI WITH HAM, PORTOBELLOS, SHALLOTS & ASPARAGUS
- 1 16 ounce package potato gnocchi, cooked, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water
- 1 lb fresh Asparagus, woody ends cut off and the rest cut into bite sized lengths
- 1 8 ounce package portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounces chopped ham
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook Gnocchi as directed on package. Cover and set aside while you make the veggie/ham part of the dish.
- In large pan melt the butter. Add in the asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, ham and shallot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the asparagus is crisp tender.
- Pour this mixture in with the gnocchi. Add the 1/4 cup of reserved cooking water and the Parmesan cheese and mix well.