Wheat Gnocchi with Caper Pesto Spinach and Sardines

While shopping for our 'Seven Fishes' Christmas Eve dinner I bought a package of whole wheat gnocchi imported from Italy. Those gnocchi were "burning a hole" in the pantry, so to speak. The usual white or red sauce wasn't sparking my taste buds, plus I had some fabulous pesto left over from the holiday. So, I spent the morning scouring blogs and Pinterest reading, and salivating over, gnocchi recipes.

Wheat Gnocchi w/ Caper Pesto Spinach and Sardines

This recipe sounds like a crazy combination I know. Hubby who likes all the ingredients, made a sour face when I spoke of the sardines and spinach. I could taste what I was thinking. This gnocchi recipe would be a keeper for sure!

Wheat Gnocchi with Caper Pesto Spinach and Sardine Recipe


1 - 17oz package Whole wheat gnocchi
3 Tbsp  Butter
3 Tbsp  Olive oil
1/3 Cup  Onion, chopped
2-3 Tbsp  Caper basil pesto
1 10 oz box  Frozen spinach, cooked and drained
1/4 Cup  Small black olives, halved
2 - 4.375 oz cans  Sardines, boneless skinless, in pure olive oil
1/8 Tsp.  Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Romano or Parmesan cheese


Cook gnocchi according to package directions, set aside.
Cook spinach as directed and drain. Do not press out the excess water.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions until just translucent. 
Add the pesto to the pan and stir to combine.
Add the gnocchi to pan and stir to combine. Cook over medium low heat, about 10 minutes turning once or twice to combine ingredients while allowing the gnocchi to brown slightly. 
Add the spinach, stir and allow to heat through.
Add the sardines, draining the oil from 1 can only. Turn gently to combine. (The sardine will break into chunks much like canned tuna fish)
Add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, and finally the black olive. Gently stir to combine all ingredients and continue cooking until heated through 5-10 minutes.
Serve topped with cheese and serve

Wheat Gnocchi with Caper Pesto

The pesto consisted  of capers, basil, garlic, pine nuts, anchovy, and olive oil. Joan's Pesti de Caperi recipe was my inspiration for this pesto. Whole wheat gnocchi are a bit firmer and stronger flavored than those made with white flour, a perfect contrast for the salty pesto. Spinach added color and substance, black olives texture, the sardines in olive oil delivered a complete meal, and red paper flakes created a finishing heat. Topped with freshly shredded Romano cheese, this is a delicious all in one dish perfect for a Sunday supper. 

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claudia lamascolo said...

Oh my this looks sensational going to share everywhere! NICE ONE! <3

Kathy Scott said...

Thanks Claudia!

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