26 April 2011

Potato Gnocchi with Cannelini Beans and Broccoli Rabe

Pasta has somewhat of a bad nutritional rap here in the United States. I have never inherently thought pasta was bad, it's just the copious amounts of it eaten by its lonesome at one meal that has a tendency to reek havoc on our glucose levels as measured by the Glycemic Index.  Unfortunately, too much of a good thing, really can be bad for you. But never in a million years would I think to give up pasta, especially my favorite-Potato Gnocchi. So I created a rule of thumb for advancing my health and eating pasta.

My rule when it comes to eating pasta, is that it must be accompanied by a protein and a vegetable in order to ward off the rapid release of glucose into my blood stream. While this may be a bit confusing to some, just stick with the rule and you'll be okay. 

In keeping with my dictates, this recipe has cannellini beans which is high in protein. It also contains broccoli rabe (or rapini) which has protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, K, B6-and much more.  This recipe is not only good for you, it's also easy and delicious. 

Potato Gnocchi with Cannelini Beans and Broccoli Rabe

1 hearty bunch chopped (leaves only) Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)
1 can (about 15 oz) Cannelini Beans
4 cloves chooped organic Garlic
2 lbs Potato Gnocchi
4 tbsp Danish Butter (or Organic Butter)
1/2 organic Lemon
Olive Oil

In a large saute pan on medium heat place the garlic and butter in the center of the pan until the butter melts. When the butter melts, place the beans in the pan and stir throughly with the garlic and butter. Let sit for about 1-2 minutes. Place the broccoli rabe in the pan with the other ingredients and stir throughly with a spatula making sure that all the ingredients are mixed together well. Turn the heat of the pan to medium low and let the broccoli rabe decrease in volume. When the volume has decreased, turn the pan's heat to low. Periodically, stir the contents of the pan until you add the gnocchi.

In a medium size pot bring to a boil about 8-10 cups filtered water. When the water is at a boil add the gnocchi. Bring the water with the gnocchi in it back to a boil. When the gnocchi float to the top of the pot, immediately remove the pot from the heat and drain the gnocchi in a collinder. While the gnocchi is still in the collinder, add enough olive oil to the gnocchi to coat the gnocchi so it does not stick together, mixing with a spatula very carefully. 

Place the gnocchi in the large saute pan with the other ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix all the ingredients well. Then squeeze the half lemon on the contents of the saute pan. Mix together one final time, and serve immediately.



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