Makes 4 servings
Gnocchi (pronounced nyokee) are little dumplings with potato. You'll find them packaged in boxes and shelved with the dried pastas in most supermarkets. Their appealing comfort-food texture serves as a base for a peppery blend of vegetables in tomato sauce.
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup coarsely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup small broccoli florets
2 cups sliced mushrooms
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
One 14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts packed in water, drained
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Dash of salt, or to taste 16 ounces potato gnocchi
Freshly ground pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until the onion is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli; cook, stirring constantly, until it is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms; continue cooking, stirring constantly, until they are tender, about 2 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with juice, artichoke hearts, chicken broth, dried basil (if using), pepper, and salt. Increase the heat to high; cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is tender and the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the fresh basil (if using). Adjust the seasonings to taste. Cover and keep warm over very low heat.
When the sauce is nearly done cooking, add the gnocchi to the boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the gnocchi. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the gnocchi float to the top and are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes, or according to package instructions. Drain well.
To serve, spoon the gnocchi into 4 shallow pasta bowls; top with the vegetables and sauce.
Covered and refrigerated, the sauce will keep for up to 2 days. Reheat and serve over hot freshly cooked.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.