Italian Inspired Recipes

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Whole Wheat Gnocchi Stroganoff Recipe Recipe

The term "stroganoff" is synonymous with beef, but for this dish I made everything vegetarian. I used the usual ingredients needed for the sauce, which originated from Russia: mushrooms, onions, shallots, vodka, sour cream, coarse-grain mustard and tomato paste, but I paired it with my homemade gnocchi. This was my first experiment with making gnocchi from whole wheat flour. To ensure that the pasta turned out moist and to enhance the flavor, I added goat ricotta cheese.

If you have a vegetarian in the house as I do, finding an alternative to meat dishes isn't as complicated as it seems. Try this recipe, and you'll agree.


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Purple Potato Gnocchi with Roasted Beets Recipe

Gnocchi are a lot easier to make that one would think. The dough is made of mashed potatoes, flour and eggs. The preparation is very basic. The gnocchi bathe in boiling water for a few minutes and they're sautéed in a little butter.

To make it more fun and playful for the kids to eat, I used purple potatoes, called Okinawan sweet potatoes. They look very similar to a white sweet potato and are oval-shaped with pointy tips. To repeat the purple-colored theme, I paired the pasta dish with roasted beets. I also added sage for flavor and almonds for crunch.

We eat with our eyes first, and the vibrant color of this dish is sure to capture the attention of even the pickiest eater. After the reception it got from my girls, I expect I'll be making it fairly often.

Potato Gnocchi Recipe with Picture
Uncooked gnocchi.


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Rosemary Roasted Beet Risotto with Ricotta Salata Cheese Recipe

I had half of a beet, puréed, leftover from the harissa paste I made yesterday. Since there are no infants in the house and all the adults have teeth, I had to find some other use for it. I finally decided to incorporate the beet purée in a risotto. The beets imparted a mild sweetness and beautiful pink color to the rice. I roasted some more red beets and added them as well for a texture contrast. I flavored the dish with rosemary from the garden and topped it with some ricotta salata.

Leftover ingredients can be a great way to test out new dishes. What I often do is combine the ingredient with a basic dish, such as risotto in this case, and couple it with complementary flavors that work well with the ingredient in other recipes. This way, chances are the new dish you've created will taste delicious. The real trick is knowing really well a few recipes that are easy to modify. 


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