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Parmesan Gnocchi with Spinach and Sausage

The sub-zero temperatures outside have crossed any border of sanity I can possibly think of. I've lived in Utah my entire life, and can't remember it ever being this cold for so long. Nonetheless, this blondie's still strappin' on the Sacony's, tank and shorts and making the run to the car in the morning to pray to the indoor treadmill gods.

Today we're hunkering down, making some of my favorite soup, and attacking the usual Monday-morning laundry loads. Ryan, surprise surprise, isn't taking advantage of the holiday to take a break from his studies (and after receiving his grades from last semester on Friday, it proved to be 100% worth it). So it feels just like a regular Monday around here - even if my face is pressed up against the heat vent each cycle. 

Onto the food:

The spinach in my household is being used before the bag goes bad... a sentence I thought I'd never use.

Whenever we bought spinach before this new year, I'd use a couple cups of it for dinner one night for a specific recipe, then wastefully ignore the rest of the bag until it smelled... well... nasty. Now since I've set a few new goals for my family this year, the bag of spinach had been divided into a couple meals throughout the week (usually used as one main dish ingredient, and the other as a salad), and the rest has been portioned out into small baggies to freeze for morning post-run smoothies. This dish was a great way to use spinach! Ryan and I were so distracted from the soft gnocchi and spicy sausage, that we completely forgot we were eating a beautiful portion of greens along the way. Also, if you take a look over the ingredients, you may notice there is a TON of Parmesan. Use the full amount - the salty (and almost nut flavor, to me) ties this dish together completely. Without it, the flavors were still good, but were pretty independent. I also didn't let the spinach wilt all the way during the cooking process - I wanted to keep the slight crispiness of the leaf intact. 

Parmesan Gnocchi with Spinach and Sausage 
Makes 4 servings

9 oz gnocchi
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb Italian sausage (hot)
2 cloves garlic
5 oz baby spinach
1/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t black pepper
3/4 C grated parmesan (3oz), plus more for serving

1. Cook the gnocchi according to directions on the package - remember to not bring gnocchi to a full rolling boil, keep it at a heavy simmer, and salt the water to add flavor. Drain, reserve 1/4 C cooking liquid.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Add sausage and garlic. Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add spinach, salt, pepper, and cook, tossing frequently, until spinach begins to wilt. Add gnocchi, the reserved cooking liquid, and Parmesan. Toss and divide into individual bowls. Sprinkle with more parmesan. Salt and pepper as desired.

Recipe source: Real Simple


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