Where has this been all my life?
I have seen a saffron gnocchi recipe shared on Facebook several times, by either the Silver Spoon or La Cucina Italiana, but we haven’t tried it before. Normally, this should be the kind of thing that you do with fresh seafood, but we decided to make it as a pantry meal, as neither of us felt like going to the grocery store. It was still fantastic. I think in the future, we will probably try it with clams, shrimp, and frozen bay scallops – the frozen seafood section of the local Asian grocery is amazing.
1 package of shelf stable gnocchi.
1 can of clams, with the liquid.
18-24 medium shrimp (we used frozen, cleaned, pre-cooked, tail on).
3 tbsp butter.
1/2 cup dry white wine.
1 diced mild green pepper (e.g., Anaheim or Hatch).
1/4 onion, diced.
1 pinch of saffron strands, (ground to a fine powder in your mortar and pestle with a tiny pinch of kosher salt as an abrasive), plus a few more whole strands.
1 clove of garlic, minced (or garlic powder, to taste).
Ground black pepper to taste.
Salt to taste.
Dried red pepper flake, to taste.
Set a pot of salted water to boil, start gnocchi.
A couple of minutes before you start the gnocchi, start the pan sauce:
Melt butter in a medium hot pan, add diced onion and chile, sautée to soften about 5 minutes. Add garlic, let sautée a minute or so. Add clams and their juice. Next, add the saffron, and rinse the mortar and pestle with a little wine, into the pan to make sure you get all the saffron into the pan. Add red pepper flake, salt, and black pepper at this time. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
Next, you’ll add either the cooked gnocchi, or the shrimp, depending on whether you’re using frozen or fresh shrimp, precooked, or raw. Frozen shrimp go in earlier, raw much later.
When the gnocchi are cooked, scoop them into the pan of sauce with a strainer, but don’t drain them too well – you want some of the starchy water to thicken the pan sauce. Let simmer a few minutes to thicken and come together before serving.