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Gnocchi is one of my favorite comfort foods. It is not only versatile, but the soft almost creamy texture makes it a sure favorite around here. For this dish I wanted to make something lush, but still add some fresh healthy ingredients. The asparagus, mushrooms and lemon add a nice freshness that brought this recipe to the top of my favorites list.  Parmesan cheese, wine and shrimp brought in the lush I was looking for. Some of us loved the side option of adding the sausage and fresh tomato to the top giving it a heartiness without over powering any of the other flavors in the dish. Me myself, I loved the fresh tomato on top.

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You will need:

  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 16-ounce packages gnocchi (**If a party of 5 or more you can easily use three for this same recipe)
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of baby asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or 1/4 fresh lemon squeezed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 pound shrimp (cooked and peeled) I used medium
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 8oz cut mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1Tbs cornstarch

OPTIONAL topping:  1 tomato diced. & 1.5 Lbs of ground Italian sausage

Fist thing to do is cut the mushrooms, mince your garlic and get the shrimp ready. Chop the asparagus into nice bite size pieces.

IMG_3545For the shrimp take the end off the shrimp and de-vien. For me I went the quick and easy route of precooked, peeled shrimp, so that all I had to do was take the tails off. Once your shrimp is ready set aside, it will be added last no matter if your shrimp is cooked or not.

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Mince your garlic, add this and the asparagus into the pot with the mushrooms.

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In a large pot add butter and olive oil, heat on medium then add the mushrooms, asparagus and garlic into the pot and saute.

IMG_3544IMG_3547After sauteing for about 5 minutes, pour in white wine, (I used a nice pinot grigio) next adding the vegetable broth, squeezed lemon, salt and pepper. Stir.

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IMG_3549IMG_3550IMG_3551 While this is simmering, your gnocchi water should now be ready. Add gnocchi to the water.

IMG_3553IMG_3556When the gnocchi is ready these soft pillows will all float to the top.

While the gnocchi is cooking, put the sausage in a separate pan and cook until nice and crumbly.

IMG_3554When the sausage is done, drain and rinse under warm to hot water. This rinses away the fat we don’t want crossing over into the gnocchi. Pour into a bowl and set aside for topping.

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IMG_3561Add cornstarch and cream together into the pot with the mushrooms and asparagus until the cornstarch melts into the cream.  Stir until all is combined.

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When the gnocchi begins to float like little pillows. Go ahead test one! Make sure it’s not chewy.  Drain the gnocchi. Add in the cooked pillowy goodness, Opps I mean the gnocchi into the pot with your broth. Stir and mix all the ingredients together.

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Lastly, you will add the shrimp and parmesan cheese and then stir. If you are adding raw shrimp lay the shrimp on top of the gnocchi, put a lid on for about 3-5minutes until nice and pink. Stir one last time to incorporate everything together.

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It really is that easy. This dish is one of those dishes that looks like it took hours. It takes all of 30-40 minutes and for me that was with taking pictures all by my lonesome! =)

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At the very end when you have dished your servings, you can garnish with some fresh tomato, the italian sausage that was set aside and a sprig of fresh parsley. You will look like you have been cooking for hours and the taste will back you up. Now of course this dish would be just as wonderful without the sausage but some people in this house would of revolted had I not added it. (**One additional hint:  If you like your asparagus nice and crisp and green add it at the end with the cream.)

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Enjoy!

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