creamy tomato gnocchi & this week’s meal plan

Did you celebrate Thanksgiving last week? If so, I hope you had a great one! We made a little feast, including this pumpkin pie and the pecan slab pie from Smitten Kitchen‘s new cookbook and both were great. The kiddo loves baking, so it was nice to have the day off to slowly prepare everything together. He also made our cranberry sauce and is so proud of it! 

As we cooked, I told him a watered down version of the first Thanksgiving story and he thought the Native Americans were so kind to teach the pilgrims “all about gardening.” We also had the cutest little hand turkey name cards and a nice conversation about what we’re thankful for. I know gratitude practices are becoming trendy, but I think there’s something to saying it out loud and to your family like that – we should probably do it a lot more often.

this week’s meal plan

The realities of keeping up the meal plan while working full-time are starting to sink in, so I’m behind in posting and the plan is not very exciting, but here it is, nonetheless:

– Monday – pasta carbonara
– Tuesday – taco rice
– Wednesday – mochi’s night, so probably curry
– Thursday – mochi again, so maybe curry leftovers?
– Friday – creamy tomato gnocchi

Essentially, we’re bookmarking the week with two of my favorite pantry recipes. They’re great for nights when I don’t have a plan but want to make something within 30 minutes, but I love having them in the meal plan too – it’s like a break from having to prep. I follow the carbonara recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy and the gnocchi recipe is shared below. If you give it a try, let me know what you think!

It feels like I’m getting into a bit of a slump, so I’ll try to shake things up a but more next week.

recipe: creamy gnocchi

I first wrote about loving this recipe from BBC Good Food, over on Daily Mochi but we still love it and it’s so easy! I try to keep the ingredients in the pantry and it saves the day when no one wants to go to the store or spend more than 20 minutes cooking.

I love the flexibility of this recipe – you can use pasta instead of gnocchi, replace the baby spinach with a different green (or leave it out in a pinch), and a friend says she sometimes uses cream cheese when she can’t find mascarpone in the shops. Here in Tokyo I can easily get the tomato, mascarpone and garlic from my local supermarket; the gnocchi is from Kaldi; and we get the bacon, baby spinach and parmesan from Costco.

ingredients:
– 80-100g bacon
– 500g gnocchi
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2-3 garlic cloves, diced
– 1 can/package diced tomatoes (~400g )
– 1 package mascarpone cheese (mine is 114g)
– a few cups of baby spinach
– salt to taste
– parmesan, basil and/or black pepper for garnish (optional)

method:
– bring the gnocchi water to a boil while beginning the creamy tomato sauce
– chop the bacon into slices about 1cm wide and cook over medium heat until crispy
– transfer bacon to a bowl, trying to leave the rendered bacon fat in the pan
– add the olive oil and the garlic, frying until just fragrant, then add the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes
– cook the gnocchi according to your package instructions – I usually add the baby spinach to the tomatoes around the same time that I drop the gnocchi into the boiling water
– drain the gnocchi and stir the mascarpone into the tomato sauce, giving a final taste and adjusting the seasoning with a little more salt if needed
– after the mascarpone has warmed through, turn off the heat and add the gnocchi and bacon into the tomato sauce, stirring everything to combine
– garnish with parmesan, basil and/or some freshly ground black pepper

Hope you have a great week!
kuri xx

 

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