As you know, my carnivore hardly eats anything green. On his very short list of green things he does eat, spinach is not to be found. He is a meat and potatoes man. But, I have seen him eat minced up spinach in things that are surrounded by other things he likes, like ravioli. So, undaunted by his insistence that he does not eat spinach I decided to make this dish I found in an old Real Simple. After all, it also has meat and potatoes in it too.
For this recipe you will need:
1 package of gnocchi
1 bunch of fresh spincah leaves, cleaned, stems removed
1 vidalia onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 lb of regular breakfast style ground sausage
1 lb of vegetarian ground sausage
3/4 cup of parmesan, and more for topping
kosher salt and ground pepper
(Note - this is if you are making both a vegetarian and a carnivore version at the same time)
I started this dish by place a tablespoon or two of olive oil in two pans. I added in 1/2 of a chopped vidalia onion in my pan and let the onions soften. Since the carnivore likes the taste of onions but not the texture, I placed the other half of the onion in a food processor and minced it finely. I then put his onions in the other pan over low heat. I added a minced garlic clove to each pan. Next added vegetarian sausage to my pan and the real deal to his. I cooked the sausage thoroughly. Next I cleaned a bunch of fresh spinach leaves. I divided the bunch in half. I removed the stems from mine and threw it in my pan to wilt. I again minced his spinach in the food processor first before adding it to his pan. I knew he would never touch it otherwise. It did turn his sausage a strange green color, but it was sausage and I knew he would eat it. At the same time I was preparing these toppings I boiled a large pot of salted water and added in the gnocchi for around 3 minutes - until they popped to the top. I drained the gnocchi and added in a tablespoon of olive oil, some kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese. I filled each bowl with some gnocchi and then topped with our respective toppings and a bit more parmesan.
It was so good, not only am I counting down the hours till I can have my leftovers, but even the carnivore cleaned his plate! That's right - my carnivore ate spinach! Which is great since it is so rich in so many wonderful nutrients, even if I did have to mince it up. Whatever, I'm not above sneaking in veggies however I can. So, whether your are a vegetarian or a meat and potatoes person, I am sure you will like this. (For those of you who are curious, all of these pics are of the vegetarian version - maybe you can even fool your carnivore into eating a vegetarian spinach dish!)