Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

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Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

I absolutely love hot, cheesy spinach and artichoke dip. It’s something I can dig into and truly be a little pig about. So today’s post is a riff on one of my favourite dips made into gnocchi casserole form. This will likely be my last warming and hearty casserole of the season because it’s time to think spring…and I’m definitely okay with that. But in the same breath, I didn’t want you to miss out on this wonderfully cheesy and saucy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, they are essentially little dumplings often made with mashed potatoes or ricotta cheese. Very simple to make, they cook in minutes and they can take on whatever sauce you want to toss them in. A classic sauce is a butter and sage sauce, but your favourite family meat sauce would be great too. The cheese lover in me can’t help but smother the tender little dumplings in a luscious Gruyere cheese sauce. Enjoy!

Ricotta gnocchi dusted lightly with flour on a tan cutting board in preparation for Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

Tips for great gnocchi:

Don’t overwork the dough and mix only until combined. This will prevent too much gluten development in the flour.

The grooves are not necessary, however, they help the dumpling hold the sauce. It only takes a few extra minutes to roll each piece over the tines of a fork or gnocchi board.

Cook gnocchi in gently simmering water and only cook until they start to float to the surface. A rapid boil is a little too rough for the tender gnocchi.

Gnocchi can be made and cooked ahead of time. Simply chill or freeze in a single layer on a large baking tray. Once they are frozen they can be stored together in a sealable bag or airtight container. If chilling, cover and use within 2 days.

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 75 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    27-33 minutes 5 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 75 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    27-33 minutes 5 minutes
    Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
    Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 75 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      27-33 minutes 5 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 75 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      27-33 minutes 5 minutes
      Ingredients
      Gnocchi
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      Gnocchi
      1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in flour until dough starts to come together.
      2. Scoop dough onto a floured work surface and knead gently for a few turns until dough is smooth. Shape into a round disk, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes for the flour to hydrate.
      3. Cut dough disk into 4 equal portions and roll eat portion into an approximate 15" log. Cut each log into 3/4" pieces, dusting lightly with flour as you go to prevent sticking.
      4. Roll each piece across the tines of a fork or gnocchi board, sprinkle with flour as you go to prevent sticking. Dust a large baking tray with flour and lay formed gnocchi in a single layer on the tray. Sprinkle with flour, cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
      Sauce
      1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of hot milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Repeat with remaining milk, adding it gradually and stirring until smooth after each addition. Once all the milk has been added, bring to a gentle simmer to ensure flour has thickened to its capacity. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
      2. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer and preheat oven to 350°F.
      3. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in half of the Gruyere cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the cheese has melted stir in spinach and chopped artichokes.
      4. Gently add gnocchi to the simmering water. Cook until all the gnocchi float to the surface which will only take a few minutes. Remove with a slotted scoop to a towel-lined tray to remove excess moisture. Immediately add gnocchi to the sauce and stir gently to combine.
      5. Divide between 4 oven-safe individual cocotte dishes or ramekins that will hold a minimum of 1 1/2 cups. Divide remaining Gruyere cheese evenly over tops and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Turn oven to broil to lightly brown the tops for about 2 minutes.
      6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving as they are very hot.
      Recipe Notes

      A single casserole dish can be used instead of individual cocotte dishes if desired.

      It's important to add the cooked gnocchi immediately to the sauce as they will start to stick together if left to sit for too long.

       

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      Tuna Noodle Casserole

      Tuna Noodle Casserole

      Tuna Noodle Casserole

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      Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.

      Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favourite family casseroles.  It has just the right ratio of noodles to sauce and is topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs. It’s also cheesy, hearty and comforting and a one scoop meal with the peas baked right in. It does take a little extra time to make the sauce, cook the noodles and bake, so I would say it’s a nice weekend casserole.  The recipe is simple and uses everyday ingredients, which means there are no unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  The kids will love it and you’ll likely get leftovers as it makes a 9”x13” pan. 

      Cheese sauce in a stainless steel saucepan with a metal whisk in preparation for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

      Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook slightly while baking in the sauce. I will generally cook them a minute or two less than the package instructions. To save time and be efficient, I like to start cooking the sauce while the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook. Get the kids helping by grating cheese and flaking the tuna. Enjoy!

      Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a glass plate with a wooden fork on a wooden surface.

      Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food Wishes

       

      Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
      Tuna Noodle Casserole
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 30-35 minutes
        Cook Time
        35-40 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 30-35 minutes
        Cook Time
        35-40 minutes
        Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
        Tuna Noodle Casserole
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 30-35 minutes
          Cook Time
          35-40 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 30-35 minutes
          Cook Time
          35-40 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
          2. Cook noodles for slightly less time than package instructions so they are al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well.
          3. While noodles are cooking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add a cup of hot milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Continue adding hot milk and whisking until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often.
          4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in mushroom soup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, tuna, and peas until combined. Add drained noodles and stir to evenly coat.
          5. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour casserole into the dish, spreading out evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
          6. Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly over casserole and bake on the centre rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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          Meaty Baked Pasta

          Meaty Baked Pasta

          Well, baked pasta is far from anything new.  This little version is my own yet very similar to many that are out there.  It’s more of a reminder of how wonderful a baked pasta can be.  There are a few steps involved so I wouldn’t call it the best weeknight meal.  However, Meaty Baked Pasta is just what the family calls for on the weekend.  

          With this pasta casserole, you will find a meaty sauce that includes ground beef and Italian sausage, a light and creamy ricotta cheese layer that helps to balance the acid in the tomato sauce.  More sauce hugged pasta with chunks of tomato that is broiled oozy with mozzarella and parmesan.  It’s the kind of dish you know you should stop eating, but just can’t.

          It serves many with even a few leftovers.  If planning ahead, you may want to assemble in two casserole dishes, bake one and freeze the other for a later meal when time is not your friend. 

          Meaty Baked Pasta is homey, satisfying and best of all cheesy!  It’s not diet friendly, so I won’t pretend that it is.  Everything in moderation, right?  Enjoy!

          Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
          Meaty Baked Pasta
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            40 minutes 5 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            8-10 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            40 minutes 5 minutes
            Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
            Meaty Baked Pasta
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              40 minutes 5 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              8-10 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              40 minutes 5 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften, stirring often.
              2. Add ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook until browned and no longer pink, breaking apart any large chunks and stirring often. Dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
              3. To the meat add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
              4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 20- 25 minutes to meld flavours.
              5. While meat sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions using well-salted water. (about 1 tbsp regular salt to 4 litres of water). Drain pasta and set aside.
              6. Preheat oven to 350℉.
              7. In a small bowl stir together ricotta, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan, dried basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
              8. Lightly spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non stick spray. Add half the cooked pasta and half of the meat sauce to the casserole dish. Stir to combine. Spread with ricotta cheese mixture.
              9. To the pot with the remaining pasta add remaining meat sauce. Stir to combine and pour over ricotta cheese layer. Top with remaining half of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
              10. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until bubbly. Broil for 2-3 to blister the cheese. Remove and allow to rest 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

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              One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta

              One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta

              Bring on the leftovers!

              Get ready for the inevitable week of turkey leftovers with this creamy and delicious One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta.  It will gobble up 2 cups of leftover turkey while being quick, easy and perfect for the whole family.  This one tastes a little like turkey pot pie, without the pie.  One of the ways I make sure there’s added flavour is to brown the mushrooms nicely.  The trick here is to start with a hot oiled pan, don’t overcrowd the mushrooms and allow them to cook on one side until golden before stirring.  It’s a great way to maximize flavour.  I also like to use flavoured cream cheese for added flavour.  For this recipe, I used a garden vegetable cream cheese, however, herb and garlic would also work well. 

              While this post is geared at using up leftover turkey, you could also use leftover chicken, purchased rotisserie chicken or even frozen cooked cubed chicken. The whole premise is minimal cooking involvement but great tasting creamy pasta cooked in one pot.  

              Being a shift worker, I’m a big, big fan of one pot dinners.  Working nights, I still cook dinner prior to leaving for work, so easy and relatively convenient is a must when it comes to getting dinner on the table. One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta is just one of my go-to meals to make my work week easier. 

              Author:  Compelled to Cook

              One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                4 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time
                25 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                4 people 20 minutes
                Cook Time
                25 minutes
                One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  25 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  4 people 20 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  25 minutes
                  Instructions
                  1. In a large skillet heat oil over high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and allow to cook until golden on one side and moisture is starting to evaporate. Stir mushrooms and cook for an additional minute. Add chopped onion and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes.
                  2. Add wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until most of the wine has cooked out. Stir in 3 cups of chicken broth, pasta, thyme and parsley. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low, stirring once.
                  3. Whisk cornstarch into remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Stir into pasta and allow to come to a full simmer to reach full thickness. Stir in cream cheese, turkey, peas, salt and pepper. Allow to cook 1-2 minutes to heat turkey and peas. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

                  Shrimp and Pesto Pasta

                  Shrimp and Pesto Pasta

                  Recently I treated myself with a 3 piece pasta attachment set for my Kitchenaid stand mixer, and I’m wondering why it took me so long. Let’s start by saying I have the tendency to be on the frugal side and there always seemed to be something more important to spend a couple hundred bucks on. I did give some consideration to the less expensive counter top hand roller for a fraction of the price, but I’m also on the fussy side. I wanted what I wanted, so this little item on my wish list sat on the back burner. But now I have it, and I’m thrilled to share with you Shrimp and Pesto Pasta.

                  Of course you can make pasta by hand, and that’s a blog post in itself, but the convenience and ease of the roller and cutters is undeniably great! It makes having fresh pasta simple and easy. One of the first dishes to get pumped out of my new set is a simple and delicious Shrimp and Pesto Pasta. Certainly not a unique combination, but worthy of being a regular on your weeknight plate because of how quick it comes together once the pasta has been rolled.

                  Once you get the feel for making fresh pasta, you can experiment with different flavours, flours and shapes. It’s so much fun to be creative and even better when you get to savour the results.

                  Recipe source for Shrimp and Pesto Pasta:  Compelled To Cook

                  Shrimp and Pesto Pasta
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    10-20 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    2 people 15 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    10-20 minutes
                    Shrimp and Pesto Pasta
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      10-20 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      2 people 15 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      10-20 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: people
                      Instructions
                      1. Season 3 litres of water with 1 1/2 tbsps of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of cooking liquid. If using fresh pasta, cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of cooking liquid.
                      2. Dab shrimp dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shrimp and garlic and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side until shrimp curl and turn opaque. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
                      3. Add pesto and 2-3 tbsp of pasta cooking liquid to the same skillet over low heat just to warm, stirring once or twice. Add cooked pasta and toss to coat. Toss in shrimp to warm and combine. Serve immediately, garnishing with parmesan cheese.
                      Recipe Notes

                      Fresh pesto and pasta is best, however store bought may be used if desired.  You'll find recipes below for fresh Classic Pesto and fresh fettuccini pasta.

                      Classic Pesto

                      Fresh Fettuccini

                       

                      Chicken and Celery Peanut Noodles

                      Chicken and Celery Peanut Noodles

                      Did you ever eat celery with peanut butter as a kid? Chicken and Celery Peanut Noodles combines this great flavour combination with a touch of spice, tender chicken, and saucy noodles. It’s a quick and delicious weeknight meal that the whole family will enjoy!

                      You’ll love how the peanut butter virtually creates a creamy sauce on its own as it warms and coats the noodles and everything else that’s all tangled up in them. Along with the peanuts, the celery brings its inherent crunch to the dish, enhancing its texture and flavour. Chicken and Celery Peanut Noodles is a fantastic combination of flavours and textures but you don’t have to stop there. Celery is also great stir fried with beef, so next time you grab the wok be sure to reach for that crisp bundle of fresh celery to add to your veggie mix.

                      Recipe source for Chicken and Celery Peanut Noodles:  Compelled To Cook

                      Chicken and Celery Peanut Noodles
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        4 people 20 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        15 minutes
                        Servings Prep Time
                        4 people 20 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        15 minutes
                        Chicken and Celery Peanut Noodles
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          4 people 20 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          15 minutes
                          Servings Prep Time
                          4 people 20 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          15 minutes
                          Ingredients
                          Servings: people
                          Instructions
                          1. Cutting against the grain, slice chicken breast into thin strips. Set aside.
                          2. In a small bowl whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar and chill paste.
                          3. Cook noodles as per package directions and allow to drain in colander while proceeding.
                          4. Heat approximately 1 tbsp of oil over high heat in a wok or large skillet with sides. Once hot add half the chicken and cook, stirring once or twice for 3-5 minutes until chicken is no longer pink and starts to brown. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
                          5. Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté garlic for 1 minute, stirring often. Add chicken broth and celery. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until most of the broth has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in red peppers and sauté for 1 minute. Reduce heat and stir in peanut sauce, chicken, noodles, half of the peanuts and half of the green onion. Toss to combine, adding a little more chicken broth if needed. Divide among serving dishes and top with peanuts and green onion. Serve immediately.
                          Recipe Notes

                          I used thick noodles for this recipe, but feel free to use your favourite size.  Fresh Chinese noodles can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets.