A lot of people tell me that they can't cook and I don't think that's true--the problem is that a lot of people never give themselves the opportunity to cook without recipes or guidance. That's how you develop your instincts when it comes to cooking--by playing with different ingredients and flavors. As you gain experience doing that, you gain confidence. Your instincts get better. Cooking is not a skill you're born with; it's something that can only come with practice. If you've only cooked by following recipes, try putting together one meal a week without a recipe. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate--in fact, it's probably best to keep it simple. It might be disastrous at first, but I promise you, you'll get better and better with each meal.
Gnocchi is an easy ingredient to experiment with. And while I have a recipe for gnocchi on my blog, I don't have a recipe using gnocchi. It was clearly time, right? Because gnocchi are little pillows of deliciousness. Since I'm on a Brussels sprouts kick, I added those too, along with fresh lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, and olive oil. I knew all of these things went together because I've used them in my cooking before. Even though this was the first time I put all the ingredients together in a recipe, my experience told me it would work out. Which it did! You can serve this with a salad for a light meal or divide it into two or three servings if your appetite is a little bigger. It's a delicious, easy fall dinner.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound gnocchi cooked according to package instructions and drained
- Zest from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Toss the Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer the gnocchi and Brussels sprouts to the large bowl. Toss with the lemon zest, pine nuts, and cheese, then season with salt and pepper to taste.