It occurred to me as I was making this dinner last night, that my last several posts have been about using up leftovers from the refrigerator. It must seem like all we ever eat are leftovers, so where are the firsts ?
When you craft a lot of your own recipes, you tend to create some core favorites, which we work into a "rotation" of sorts, so rather than bore you with reposting them, we just eat those. But, that results in leftovers, which need to be used up, and that creates some new, favorite recipes. This is going to be one of those.
We made a giant batch of marinara sauce in the fall, and froze some along with pre-made meatballs. Normally we would make pasta and serve it all together, but Ray was having a bachelor weekend, and decided he wanted meatballs sandwiches. So, he extracted the meatballs from the sauce, which left a good portion of thawed out sauce to be used for something else.
We are kind of purists when it comes to our homemade marinara sauce, we don't like to use "cheap" store bought meats, since we worked so hard making it. I had to come up with a way to repurpose it that still made using of its really amazing flavor. I starting thinking about the peppers and onions they often serve on top of Italian sausages you get at ball parks, and that's what I used to make the sauce a bit more robust. Add in a couple of handfuls of leftover fresh spinach, and it was really a nice, quick dinner !
Gnocchi with Sweet Pepper, Onion and Spinach Marinara
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cup sweet peppers, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (your favorite kind)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup fresh spinach
1 pound gnocchi
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Start water to boil for gnocchi. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and saute onions just until soft. Add peppers and saute another 4-5 minutes. Add marinara sauce and red pepper flakes and simmer while you wait for your water to come to a boil. Cook gnocchi according to package directions. When you add the gnocchi to the water, add the spinach to the marinara sauce, and stir gently. When gnocchi is finished cooking. drain and stir into marinara sauce. Dish into individual serving bowls, and top with Parmesan cheese.