Homemade Gnocchi with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Sage

A serving bowl of Homemade Gnocchi with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Sage is a delight

Hooray! I managed to make homemade gnocchi (with just one phone call to my mom). And it’s good. I could definitely serve this Homemade Gnocchi with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Sage to a special guest (like my mom).

My first batch (sans egg) was a pasty disaster. It was dry and…just wrong. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but it reminded me of the mix you’d make as a kid to shape into ornaments. You know. Out of flour, water, and salt. Remember?

A bowl of Homemade Gnocchi with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Sage

I hadn’t made (or should I say, helped make) gnocchi since I was a kid helping my mom. I really wanted to make my own and didn’t want to wait for my next visit with my mom. My first-batch failure spurred me on, so I carved out a little time to dedicate to this dish.

Several fresh, homemade gnocchi ready to cook

I had a good time making this gnocchi – it’s a very tactile process. I mixed the dough with my hands before I rolled it out into ropes, and cut it into pieces. My favorite part was rolling the individual pieces down the back of a fork to create little ridges to help hold the sauce. I remember I loved that part when I was a kid, too.

A fork of Homemade Gnocchi with Pancetta, Mushrooms, and Sage

It’s actually very simple to make homemade gnocchi. It just takes a bit of time. I paired this gnocchi with a simple butter sauce that includes crisp pancetta, mushrooms, and sage. The flavor combo couldn’t be better. The salty pancetta combined with the bright sage to enhance the earthy mushrooms. If you’re not on a budget, use chanterelle mushrooms. Otherwise, try oyster mushrooms, or use cremini mushrooms like I did.

The sauce is rich, but not heavy, and each forkful delivers crispiness to complement the soft, fluffy gnocchi.

Zucchini, Mushroom, and Thyme Strata

Zucchini, Mushroom, and Thyme Strata is perfect for any meal.

What do you do with day-old bread? Save it to make a savory strata. Zucchini, Mushroom, and Thyme Strata is a filling and flavorful dish that is perfect for brunch or dinner (I even like it cold, straight out of the fridge for breakfast).

I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how I let the majority of a loaf of crusty, artisan bread get a little past its prime. Not using the entire loaf is something that makes me sad. Wasting bread is like a sin to an Italian, so I had to think of some way to put it to good use.

Dig into a dish of Zucchini, Mushroom, and Thyme Strata

Since a strata includes eggs (and bread), many recipes are geared to serve for breakfast or brunch. But as you well know, breakfast for dinner is always a treat, so why not consider a strata for your evening meal? Pair it with soup or salad for a fab meal.

I pulled some veggie staples from the fridge and thought marinara sauce would make a colorful splash for this dish. The thyme is a nice complement to the zucchini and mushrooms, and I included Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, too. If you’re still in love with zucchini even after the summer, try adding it to pizza.

A strata is a great dish for any meal of the day.

A few great things about a strata:

  • It’s the perfect way to use up day-old bread
  • You can include pretty much any vegetable and cheese combo you’d like
  • You can make it the day before you want to serve it (just refrigerate overnight before you’re ready to pop it in the oven)

This recipe for Zucchini, Mushroom, and Thyme Strata is easy to make and can help keep you guilt-free over unused bread. Serve this for any meal of the day.

Recipe for Zucchini, Mushroom, and Thyme Strata
Serves 4-6

Mushroom, Potato and Kale Soup

Must love mushrooms!

Being sick is no fun, but a bowl of hot soup can do wonders for you. You don’t have to be sick to enjoy this soup, however, you must love mushrooms. Mushroom, potato and kale soup is hearty and has an earthy, warming goodness thanks in part to three different varieties of mushrooms in the mix.

I was sick when this soup was made, but no worries — I didn’t spread my germs making it! My mom has been visiting, and thankfully she and my husband banded together to put on a pot of soup.

This dish is overflowing with a mix of mushrooms, which I love. It also includes potatoes and kale for more substance and flavor. You could do a lot with this soup. Change it up a bit and add carrots and celery, or toss in barley or wild rice. Or simply change up the mushrooms by using chanterelle, oyster, or shiitake.

Mushroom, potato and kale soup is just what I needed to feel better! I can’t promise it will knock out your winter cold, but I don’t think it can hurt. This is a delicious soup perfect for the winter season!

Recipe for Mushroom, Potato and Kale Soup
Serves 6

Mushroom Stroganoff

For the love of mushrooms

If you like mushrooms, you’ll love this recipe for Mushroom Stroganoff. If you’re on the fence about mushrooms, you’ll love this dish. I can’t actually guarantee that, but I’m willing to bet you will.

A lot of us grew up eating some version of beef stroganoff made by mom, so you’re definitely recognize the egg noodles. They always remind me of stroganoff and tuna casserole. Revive a classic with a twist. Mushroom stroganoff will bring back old memories and maybe start some new ones!

Anti-stick tip

For this recipe, you’ll set the noodles aside after cooking them. I recently learned that if you drizzle the noodles with olive oil to keep them from sticking together, it will keep the sauce from sticking to them. What a waste!

Instead, to keep the noodles from sticking together, rinse them in cold water after cooking and draining them, to help rinse off the starch. Before you’re ready to serve them, microwave them for a few minutes before adding the sauce.

Recipe for Mushroom Stroganoff:
Serves 4

Swiss Chard and Mushroom Popover Bake

Pouting Over Popovers

I woke up Sunday morning hungry, but not so hungry that I wasn’t interested in baking something good! I was ready to grab my trusted popover recipe (remember? I follow recipes), but I could not find it. So I pouted and took on the cereal-is-fine attitude.

Cut to an hour later, still no breakfast (not even cereal), and I was back to digging for that recipe. I never got my hands on it, but what I found instead was an old Cooking Light popover recipe. Everything worked out, because by that point, brunch was in order and I had the perfect ingredients on hand to change things up to make this recipe for Swiss Chard and Mushroom Popover Bake!

Find Your Perfect Popover

The thin shell of this popover is puffy and light around the sides and more dense on the bottom. It doesn’t seem like it would be filling, but it is.

One thing I like about this dish is that you could add so many things to the crust. Try a variety of veggies or maybe make it sweet and fill it with apples, spices and walnuts. I had Swiss chard and mushrooms on hand, so that’s what I used (I’ll definitely add pine nuts next time).

Bonus: The original recipe called for wheat pastry flour, but the Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour I used turned this into a great gluten-free dish. Bob’s Red Mill suggests using 7/8 cup of this flour to replace 1 cup of wheat flour in baked goods (you do the math), but I keep the proportions the same and it worked out great.

Recipe for Swiss Chard and Mushroom Popover Bake

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

Serves 4