15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce

In Fast Dinner Ideas/ Healthy Dinner Recipes/ Recipes

15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce | A Couple Cooks

15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce | A Couple Cooks

15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce | A Couple Cooks

If you’ve read Pretty Simple Cooking (our new cookbook!), you’ll know that our food philosophy is against 15-minute this and 20-minute that. Why? If quick cook time is treated as the most important thing about cooking, it cheapens the process. It makes it seem like cooking is just about finding the magical 15 to 20 minute recipes, and not investing time in skills that deepen flavor. Also, 15-minute meals that really take 30 minutes are one of our biggest pet peeves.

However, sometimes life necessitates a quick dinner. Many requests come into our inbox like the following from reader Jean: “I struggle to put something healthy-ish on the table at lightening speed every night. It would be AWESOME to see a round up of some of your favorite crazy-fast meals. I know that healthy doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen, but chopping and prep sometimes take longer than I have time for. I wondered how you guys–also in the baby trenches–deal with this dilemma?”

So in the vein of “healthy-ish at lightening speed”, here is our 15-minute gnocchi with romesco sauce. I know what you’re thinking:

Does it really take 15 minutes to make? Well, it does depend on your cooking style. But, here are the facts:

  • I made this gnocchi by myself between 5:54 and 6:09 on a Thursday night. True story.
  • It requires no chopping and no real “cooking”, just boiling gnocchi for 3 minutes.
  • We used packaged gnocchi, which we still consider a “whole food” similar to packaged pasta. (You can also use any shape of pasta for this recipe; it would add a few minutes to the boiling time.)
  • This recipe takes 15 minutes, but we’d suggest serving it with a salad, which would add a few minutes. This could also help to stretch the serving size: we found it fed me, Alex and Larson without leftovers, so we left the serving size at 3.

Explain healthy-ish? To us, healthy-ish is whole food meals prepared in your own kitchen.

  • Gnocchi is Italian “pasta” that is made with potatoes and flour. Typically pasta isn’t considered health food, but good news: a new study found pasta can actually help you lose weight. The Italian researchers found that eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet.
  • To the pasta, we’ve added some colorful veg: spinach and a romesco sauce made of tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and almonds.
  • This recipe is a vegan dinner fully plant-based as the feta crumbles are optional. It’s also gluten-free if you can find gluten-free gnocchi or use gluten-free pasta.
  • Per above, we’d suggest serving with a green salad.

We hope you’ll enjoy this lightning fast, healthy-ish recipe. In our opinion, it’s also a great Valentine’s Day recipe, especially for a cooking date!

For a similar quick and healthy-ish recipe, see our Creamy Yogurt Mac & Cheese with Spinach.

Did you make this recipe?

If you make our 15-minute gnocchi with romesco sauce, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free (modification below), plant-based, and dairy-free.

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15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce | A Couple Cooks

15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce


1 Star (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: About 3 main dish servings

Description

This 15-minute vegetarian and vegan dinner is lightning fast! The gnocchi with romesco sauce is incredibly flavorful; omit the feta cheese for a vegan meal.


Ingredients

  • 1 pound packaged gnocchi (much of the packaged gnocchi brands are vegan; for gluten-free, use GF gnocchi or 1 pound of GF pasta)
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves (or chopped standard spinach)
  • 1 cup romesco sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, with about 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  2. Make the romesco sauce (below).
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the gnocchi and boil until they float, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, line a colander with spinach leaves. When the gnocchi are done, pour them into the colander with the spinach so that the boiling water wilts the spinach. Then pour the cooked gnocchi and spinach back into the pot and stir to a few times to evenly distribute the spinach.
  5. Add 1 cup of the romesco sauce to the pot and stir. (Reserve and refrigerate the remaining 1 1/2 cups for up to 1 week.)
  6. For vegan, top with fresh ground black pepper. For vegetarian, top with black pepper and feta crumbles. If desired, add a drizzle of olive oil.
Print
15-Minute Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce | A Couple Cooks

Romesco Sauce


1 Star (No Ratings Yet)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Description

This 15-minute vegetarian and vegan dinner is lightning fast! The gnocchi with romesco sauce is incredibly flavorful; omit the feta cheese for a vegan meal.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 large roasted red peppers from a jar
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Peel the garlic. In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients until smooth. Taste and add additional seasonings if desired.

 

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Jean
    February 12, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Thanks so much for the shout-out! This looks DELICIOUS and like the perfect weeknight meal! I can’t wait to try it! I’m also super excited about those chocolate cherry vegan tarts and think I’ll bring them in for coworkers on Wednesday. Well, that’s if my husband and I don’t eat them all! :x

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 2:09 pm

      You are so welcome — thank YOU for the feedback! Let us know what you think of the recipe and if it meets your needs as a busy mama!

      • Reply
        Jean
        May 9, 2018 at 5:53 pm

        We LOVED this sauce!! I was amazed that something so fast could taste so fancy! :) It seemed like a restaurant quality meal at less time than it would take to drive to a restaurant. I’m saving this one in my back pocket for when I need to impress guests/family on the fly. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Nissrine
    February 12, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    This looks great. I love that little tidbit from Italian researchers. They’ll go to great lengths to protect their beloved pasta. Haha. Jokes aside though I love pasta and don’t see anything wrong with eating it. I live in Italy and we eat it several times a week and are a whole food loving household. As long as you chose the good stuff and add the good stuff to it, it makes a great quick and healthy meal. Btw though Italians would die at gnocchi being called pasta…haha! To them it’s so not pasta. I say that with a huge smile and wink.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Haha we couldn’t agree more with your pasta philosophy! Thanks for the comment :)

  • Reply
    Christine
    February 14, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Made this tonight for Valentine’s Day – sooooo good! Doubled the recipe since I wanted plenty of leftovers – still have more than enough sauce to freeze and make this again sometime soon. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      Ooo that is perfect! It’s the recipe that keeps on giving :) We love the sauce on any type of noodles, or as a dip for veggies!

  • Reply
    Leia
    February 15, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I made this for supper with pasta and kale, and it was so delicious! It was actually 15 min, but it tasted so good that I would have made it again even if it took much longer to make.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      This is fantastic feedback — THANK YOU for making it! I’m glad to hear that it was 15 minutes for you too. Glad to hear it was a hit!

  • Reply
    Christina
    February 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    SWEEET! I’m hunting for vegetarian recipes to add to my diet and this one looks delicious! However, I’m going to roast my own almonds, tomatoes, and pepper so the recipe will take longer than 20 minutes, but who cares! I bet the end result will be amazing! Pinning!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      March 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      Roasting your own ingredients for the Romesco sounds delicious — we’d love to hear how it turned out! So glad you found this recipe and let us know how you enjoyed it!

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