Having just got home from a week in St. George our fridge has been completely empty. Somehow all of my grocery money disappeared this month and I am trying to stretch my meal plan so I don't have to go shopping until May (good old case lot sales..they wipe me out every time ;). This meant scrounging through the last of my produce in my fridge--which amounted to one red and one orange bell pepper. I had leftover ham from Easter and some Gnocchi I had bought from Trader Joes (which I love). I decided to whip together a Pesto Ham Gnocchi and surprisingly it was awesome! I added some fresh basil that was growing in my garden and this simple meal was the perfect weeknight dinner solution. If you have leftover ham and you want a new way to use it up, this dish was simple & used items you most likely have in your fridge. Enjoy :)
Pesto Ham Gnocchi
2 lb. gnocchi, cooked to package instructions (or you can make your own)
2 cups cooked and cubed ham
2 colored bell peppers, diced (you can use any vegetables you have on hand: spinach, zucchini, broccoli, etc.)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
3 Tbls. pesto (I love Costcos and keep it in my freezer in small tupperwares for easy access)
1 tsp. salt
3 cups milk (or you can use half & half but I wanted a little less fat/calories)
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Boil the gnocchi in a large pan of water until tender, and to package directions. While they are cooking begin to melt the butter in a saute pan. Add the flour and whisk until they are incorporated. Continue to simmer on medium heat until the butter is all melted. Add the pesto, milk and seasonings. Continue to whisk until the sauce begins to thicken. Once the sauce is the consistency you want (you can add more milk if you want it more thin), you can pour in the parmesan cheese. Add the cooked gnocchi, peppers and ham to the pan. Combine everything together and serve hot. Can garnish with extra basil and parmesan cheese if you wish.
If you live in St. George UT, or will be traveling there anytime soon, we found a GREAT place to visit. They have a Children's museum that is free. You can donate money if you wish to enter, but you don't have to. We went there two days in a row and the kids had a blast! It's right by the splash pad and tabernacle. It's also right next to our favorite lunch stop (One Hot Grill). After that, go get you a cookie from The Sugar Cookie. After those yummy stops you might want to take a nice long hike in Snow Canyon to burn off some calories. YUM! I am craving their cookies already ;)
*Try their molasses old fashioned cookie with cream cheese frosting. Oh my, it is heavenly!