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a plate of gnocchi and asparagus in cream sauce
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Gnocchi and Asparagus in Cream Sauce

This Gnocchi with Asparagus and Cream Sauce is great for easy daily meals as well as special dinners. Pillowy gnocchi and sweet, crisp-tender asparagus are coated with a rich yet not too heavy cream sauce.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: asparagus and gnocchi
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 236kcal
Author: Sophie

Ingredients

  • 4-5 green asparagus spears
  • 10 oz uncooked potato gnocchi
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, freshly grated (plus more for serving)
  • black pepper, freshly cracked

Instructions

  • Trim off the woody end of your asparagus or use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin from the bottom part of the asparagus spears (as in the video). Then slice asparagus into small pieces, about 1/2-inch. If the spears are large, slice them in half lengthwise first before cutting into small pieces crosswise.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and reduce the heat to a more gentle boil. Cook until gnocchi float to the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Drain the gnocchi and reserve the cooking liquid.
  • Place a pan over medium heat and add some olive oil. Add minced garlic and sauté briefly until fragrant. Add asparagus pieces and stir to cook for about 15 seconds. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt and give it a quick stir.
  • Add drained gnocchi to the pan and give everything a quick toss. Add cream and 3-4 tablespoons of reserved gnocchi cooking liquid. Adjust the heat as needed to let everything simmer while stirring gently and frequently. Stir in 1-1½ tablespoons of parmesan cheese. Cook until the cheese melts, the sauce thickens and asparagus is crisp-tender. Try to avoid overcooking the asparagus.
  • Transfer to serving plates. Sprinkle plenty of black pepper and some more parmesan cheese on top. Serve immediately.

Notes

The recipe is enough for 2 people as a main dish or 3-4 people as an appetizer or a first course. If you want to make the dish vegetarian-friendly, make sure to use vegetarian parmesan cheese.
I use homemade gnocchi, but if you can find quality store-bought gnocchi, that will work too. 
For homemade gnocchi: I like to follow Chef Thomas Keller's recipe, which calls for baked russet potatoes (just pierce the potatoes with a fork and then bake at 350°F/175°C for an hour or until tender). His recipe has the highest ratio of potatoes to flour among all gnocchi recipes I have come across. When I make it, I use about 20 oz of baked potato flesh, 2.5 oz flour, 2 egg yolks and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mash the baked potato flesh, then add flour, salt and egg yolks. Use a dough cutter to combine everything and avoid kneading the dough too much. Divide the dough into portions, then roll into small ropes and cut into small pieces.

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 453IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 4mg