This recipe happened by accident. If you follow Kosher Chic, you have probably noticed that in the last 6 months my posting frequency has gone done significantly. I began working on a PhD in July (hence the title of this recipe), and my life has adjusted to a new rhythm: drive Logan to school, go to work, come home, do homework, go to sleep. Sometimes there is time to squeeze in making dinner between homework and sleep, sometimes not.
Logan has been helpful in sharing the burden when she can, making amazing Asian cold noodle dishes that she invents. For the most part, though, I have had to figure out how to satisfy my craving for comfort foods, which are so good when you are feeling overly busy, and lack of time to make them properly. This recipe came from the old adage "necessity is the mother of all invention."
Last year, on Christmas Eve, I decided it would be nice to make a hearty lasagna for a nice evening of being at home and watching movies. It did not occur to me, the Kosher Chic, that shopping on Christmas Eve might result in lack of choices at the store. I was shocked that Trader Joe's was sold out of lasagna noodles... every possible variety. I already had all of the other ingredients in my basket, and had my mind set on lasagna. What to do? Use gnocchi* instead of noodles!
The beauty of this dish, at this busy stage in my life, is that it does not require the usual layering and re-layering of each ingredient, as does the traditional counterpart. Each layer is used just one time, as the gnocchi are hearty (and bulky) enough for just one layer on the bottom. The dish also works extremely well for making ahead of time, refrigerating, and then putting in the oven the following day.
· 1 5-oz. package Trader Joe's "Power to the Greens" (mixture of fresh kale, chard and spinach) or a 5 oz. bag of fresh spinach
· 2 17-oz. packages gnocchi of your choice (you will have a lot of leftovers)
· 1 wedge, approximately .6 lbs, Asiago cheese (or parmesan, if you prefer) grated
· 1 16-oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
· 3 Tbsp. olive oil
· 1 16-oz. package fresh mozzarella
· 1 25-oz. jar Trader Joe's Organic Tomato Basil Marinara (or jarred marinara sauce of your choice)
· Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and preheat oven to 375.
2. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in sauté pan. Sauté greens in oil, over medium-high heat, just until slightly cooked or softened (do not cook to the point of being soggy or completely limp).
3. Cook gnocchi in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until gnocchi rise to the top of the water. Drain gnocchi, return to pot, and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil to prevent sticking.
4. Layer and spread evenly in 9" x 12" glass baking dish: Gnocchi, ricotta cheese, sautéed greens, entire jar of marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese (in small chunks, dotted over surface) and grated Asiago cheese.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is entirely melted and sauce is bubbly.