Gnocchi, Asparagus, and Prosciutto

The title basically says it all. As has been stated before, when I’ve had a rough week my shopping therapy is done at grocery stores. Two weaknesses of mine are asparagus (relatively affordable on a semi-regular basis) and prosciutto (which is most definitely NOT. I remember the first time I had prosciutto. I was a teenager, probably 15 or 16. My mother had one “fancy” hors d’ouevres for the special guests that involved prosciutto-wrapped scallops. When I went to Spain, the pig products were everywhere. There was prosciutto, there was some other kind of bacon/ham love child whose name I can’t remember. It was HEAVEN. But, this stuff is EXPENSIVE! I “cheaped out” and paid over $1 an OUNCE. Definitely for special occasions. But it’s oh-so-heavenly.

Paper-thin, smoked pig heaven.

Once I had decided it would be asparagus and gnocchi, I was torn between wrapping the spears in prosciutto and grilling them or just putting both in a skillet and sauteing them in butter. I decided to do neither of these, as you will see in the recipe. Gnocchi seemed to be a reasonable choice of starch (if a bit heavy for spring/summer foods); I’m sure you easily could replace the gnocchi was a pasta. I would not make this with rice.

*N.B.–I did not make my own gnocchi. One day I will. When I have inordinate amounts of time and a potato ricer. But, until then, I will buy it. And you will NOT make me feel bad about that.

GNOCCHI, ASPARAGUS, AND PROSCIUTTO

Ingredients:

  • Gnocchi
  • Asparagus
  • Prosciutto (I used about an ounce a portion)–torn into bite-sized pieces.
  • Oliver Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Goat Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cook the gnocchi. If you don’t know how to do that…pretend you’re making pasta. Gnocchi are like ravioli in the sense that (a) they do NOT take long to cook at all and (b) they float to the top when they’re done.

    What gnocchi looks like when it's done.
  2. As for the asparagus…clean the spears, chop off the ends, and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. When the gnocchi are done cooking, fire up a skillet. When it’s hot, toss in the asparagus and start cooking them. When they are close to done (for your taste…I personally don’t like uberly crunchy veggies, but that may just be my Southern roots coming out too much), toss the gnocchi back in.
  4. When the gnocchi are hot enough to eat, place the mixture into a serving bowl. Top with prosciutto and goat cheese.
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