Gnocchi Marsala- pillowy gnocchi coated in a creamy marsala wine sauce makes for the most delicious Meatless Monday comfort food.
November 2, 2020 by Nicole Collins
There are some recipes that I make on repeat.
Today's recipe is one of them.
About midway through quarantine, I was craving chicken marsala soooooooo bad. Chicken marsala is one of those “special” meals for me. It's never been something that I make on the regular; but every time I make it, I remember how much I love it.
So, I made it. I loved it. But, that wasn't the end of it for me. The craving wasn't gone. It was only intensified. I found myself wanting all things marsala at all times.
The thing about chicken marsala, though, is that it requires planning. You have to take the chicken out of the freezer and thaw it before you can make any chicken marsala amazingness. Or, if you don't have any chicken in the freezer, you have to make a grocery store trip.
And sometimes, ain't nobody got time for that.
So, I started trying to redirect my craving. But then, I remembered that I'm such a Meatless Monday pro that I didn't even need meat for my marsala. So to up the ante on the dish, I swapped pastas; and today's recipe was born.
Today, we're making Gnocchi Marsala!
First, let's talk about the gnocchi. I LOVE gnocchi. When I was in Italy, I looked for gnocchi on every single menu. I cheated and bought pre-made gnocchi for this recipe, but I'm not mad about that at all. You can either buy gnocchi in a shelf stable package along with the other pastas in the grocery store, or you can find prepared gnocchi in the freezer section of the grocery store. I prefer the texture of the packaged gnocchi over the frozen, plus you can't beat the fact that it can sit right in your pantry along with your other pasta. So, that's what I used for this recipe.
We're going to cook our gnocchi in some nice and salty water until they just start to float to the top of the pot. The goal is to time the cook of the gnocchi so that it lines up with the cooking time on our sauce. That way, we can take the gnocchi straight from their cooking water to the sauce, and they won't have to sit and risk overcooking or getting gummy.
For our sauce, we start with some sliced (or finely minced, if you're me) baby bella mushrooms. I love the deep earthy flavor of a baby bellas, so they are perfect for this sauce. We'll cook them in some olive oil until they start to brown and caramelize, then we'll add in lots of minced garlic to help the mushrooms become nice and fragrant.
Once our mushrooms and garlic are finished sauteeing, we're going to add in some marsala wine and some stock. Now, I told you I've been making this recipe on repeat, and that's no joke. I've tried this with chicken stock, beef stock, and vegetable stock. They all are equally as delicious in this sauce, so we have some flexibility to use what you have. But, for the sake of keeping this meal vegetarian, we're using veggie stock in today's recipe.
We're going to let our liquids simmer until they're reduced by about half, then we pour in some heavy cream. Let that simmer a little longer until the sauce starts to thicken by just a smidge. Then, the sauce is ready for our pillowy little gnocchi plus a little bit of the gnocchi's cooking water. Remember, we cooked the gnocchi in some nice, salty water; so that's going to help season our sauce. But give it a taste, and add just another little pinch of salt and pepper to the sauce until it tastes like absolute perfection.
The sauce will seem a little thin at first, but it will thicken up a little as it cools. So, our finished product is this rich, creamy, umami tasting sauce coating our soft, fluffy little nuggets of pasta heaven.
Do you understand now why I can't stop making this dish?!?
This whole meal comes together in less than 30 minutes, it uses fairly inexpensive and humble ingredients, and it is sooooo flavorful for not a ton of effort at all. This is easily on its way to becoming one of my most made meals of all time!
Ok, everyone. That's another Meatless Monday in the books. And honestly, meat who? I definitely prefer this meal now without the meat!
I hope you love this bowl of creamy comfort as much as I do!
Enjoy, and let's eat!
Serves: 4 Print
1 lb gnocchi
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup marsala wine
1 cup vegetable broth
¾ cup heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
Cook gnocchi in salted water according to package directions until just al dente. Reserve 2 tbsp of cooking water before draining.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, and cook for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms start to brown and caramelize. Add garlic to the mushrooms, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add marsala wine and veggie broth to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half.
Add heavy cream to the skillet, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes. Add gnocchi and 2 tbsp cooking water. Stir to coat the gnocchi in the sauce. Taste the sauce, and add salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer another 2-3 mins until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Remove from heat. Serve!
*Try to time the cooking of your gnocchi so that you can transfer it straight from the cooking water to the sauce. We don't want to overcook our gnocchi or for it to become gummy while waiting for the sauce to finish.
*I prefer the shelf stable gnocchi that you can buy in the pasta section of the grocery store. I love that I can store it in my pantry with my other pasta, and it tastes great. You can also find pre-made gnocchi in the freezer section of the grocery store. Or if you feel ambitious, make your own gnocchi using your favorite recipe!
*The sauce is pretty flexible as far as the broth is concerned. I've made it with chicken and with beef stock, and it tastes amazing with those as well. So, use what you have in a pinch!
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