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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Keep it fresh with this spring-inspired Italian dinner


    Over spring break, I had the pleasure of making a home-cooked dinner with my mom after a relaxing day of perusing olive mills and farmers’ markets in my hometown of Gilbert, Ariz.

    A fresh loaf of Italian bread from the Olive Mill (in Queen Creek) and organic mixed greens from the farmers’ market a few minutes from our home paired perfectly with gnocchi, small Italian dumplings made with potatoes and flour. The end result was delightful Italian cuisine, a perfectly light and fresh meal for a spring day.

    For the main dish:
    A box of gnocchi
    Emeril Lagasse’s All Natural “Roasted Gaaahlic” sauce. (Being Italian ourselves, we’re pretty critical of jarred sauces, but this one is great.)
    Grated fresh Asiago Romano cheese
    Fresh baked bread. Any kind you’d like, but go for the crunchy, hard crust and spread it with butter or dip it in olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

    For the salad:
    Romaine lettuce
    Red leaf lettuce
    Baby spinach
    Oak leaf
    Mandarin oranges
    Blood oranges

    Dressing: Lemon-flavored or plain extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette or the juice of two lemons

    Cooking the gnocchi is essentially like cooking spaghetti: bring water to a boil, add the gnocchi, reduce the heat and cover. Follow the boiling instructions and times on your particular box. It usually takes around four to six minutes, depending on the amount. Heat up the sauce in a separate pan on medium to low heat.

    Grate the cheese onto a small dish and then slice your bread with a large, serrated knife. Get started on the salad while the gnocchi is cooking. First, thoroughly wash all of the produce. Then just slice the lettuce, strawberries and oranges, throw in the blueberries and toss the salad a few times over with your choice of dressing.

    When the gnocchi is nice and chewy but just slightly firm, or “al dente,” take it off of the burner and carefully strain the water. Pair it all with a glass of rose wine and enjoy.

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