We had been clearing out the refrigerator for a week, and I was ready to make a simple dinner for myself the other night. What I ended up with takes the prize for the most unusual combination of ingredients I will have all year….and a delicious meal.
In the freezer were the remnants of a pasta I created last Spring, Stinging Nettle Gnudi. These, in fact, were gnocchi, which had been made with cooked and chopped nettles, flour, and Kite Hill vegan ricotta cheese. The few pieces of dumplings not used last June were still in the freezer, so I poached them in simmering, salted water, and put aside.
For flavor I sliced several fresh Shiitake mushrooms and sautéed them in a small amount of olive oil. Removing the mushrooms to a bowl, I then added the gnocchi to the pan, adding a small amount of olive oil [or butter] and simmered at the lowest possible setting.
This gave me time to peel, slice, and sauté one Chayote squash in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. When the squash was tender (less than 10 minutes), I added the gnocchi/gnudi and the Shiitakes, and warmed them together to blend the flavors. It was remarkably good.
With such an unusual combo, I needed an exotic wine. No problem. I had recently purchased my first Moldovan wine, 2013 Valaria din Vale Feteasca, a white wine from this small country between Romania and the Ukraine. It was quite pleasant and a good match with this trio of strange plate-fellows.