Gnocchi with Spinach, Mushrooms, Mascarpone and Courgette Balls

…or how to take some healthy ingredients and turn them into something a little decadent. I was going to make this using half cream but, whereas cream tends to split quite easily, mascarpone keeps itself together quite nicely. Serve this with a green salad with balsamic dressing. The sweetness of the balsamic works well with the creamy sauce. I also cheated and used bought gnocchi rather than make my own. The courgette balls are optional and this dish works well without them if you haven’t the time.

This would serve 4 as a main – perhaps with garlic bread if you need more carbs.

Start by making the courgette balls as per this recipe. When you have made these keep them warm in the oven while you start on the sauce.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic – finely chopped
8-10 mushrooms – finely sliced
250g spinach – chopped
250g mascarpone cheese
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of grated nutmeg

Take a large frying pan and heat the olive oil. Fry the garlic and mushrooms until the mushrooms start to soften. Now add the chopped spinach and fry gently until wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. Reduce the heat then add the mascarpone. While this is melting, put a large pan of water on a high heat for the gnocchi. Cook the gnocchi as per the instructions (2 minutes in boiling water), drain and add to the mushrooms, spinach and mascarpone. Season with salt, black pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Stir well then add the courgette balls.

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