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Sicilian Gnocchi with Sardines

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People are always thinking that Mike and I eat pretty decently. And for the most part, it’s true. But, lots of times our meals (especially dinners) are leftovers hobbled together into some sort of strange smorgasbord that I enjoy immensely, but Mike ends up thinking is questionable. Is there really anything so wrong with eating a meal that consists entirely of side dish trials?! I think not, but then again, my food taste is kind of questionable.

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Mike is usually good humored about the whole blogging thing – he patiently waits for me to take photos and we often eat our food on the cold side, or microwaved. Actually, come to think of it, sometimes he’s too good about it. Sometimes he’s the one insisting on taking photos when I just want to shovel food into my mouth as quickly as possible while it’s still hot.

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Case in point – we were camping (in an olive grove! I highly recommend it) and I made a quick gnocchi dish that I just wanted to shove into my face. Luckily Mike took some photos otherwise I wouldn’t be sharing this. This actually happens to be one of Mike’s favorite kinds of pastas – a simple sardine and garlic sauce that can be paired with any pasta but goes particularly well with the pillowy bite of potato gnocchi.

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It’s perfect for a camp meal as well as it comes together in one pot and you really only need 5 ingredients (if you don’t count salt and pepper).

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One Pan Sicilian Gnocchi with Sardines Recipe
serves 2


  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1 can sardines packed in olive oil (3.75 ounces)
  • 8 ounces mini potato gnocchi*
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest, to garnish

Heat up a cast iron pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, and sardines, along with oil packed in the can to the pan and cook, stirring, until hot and fragrant. Add in the gnocchi and 1/4 cup of water and simmer, stirring often until the water evaporates. Continue to brown the gnocchi, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and squeeze in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Finish with lemon zest and enjoy.

Note: If your gnocchi is on the larger side, you may need a touch more water and a longer simmer/browning session. Taste as you go.

Optional: We love this with a sunny side up egg too – the runnier the better!

18 Comments • Add yours!

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  1. This sounds so good and the kind of dish my husband would love! Is there a packaged gnocchi that you recommend? I’ve never found one I like … Thank you!

    • i’m not a big buyer or packaged gnocchi, but these mini ones i got from world market were pretty good. i think it’s cause they were mini – sometimes i find packaged gnocchi too doughy/floury. hope that helps a bit!

      Stephanie Le on July 22, 2016 at 9:13 am
  2. Yes!!! This sounds and looks amazing. I’m totally loving these outdoor photos too, they are fabulous!

  3. Love this! I am a big fan of sardines and I always get the side-eye from people when I eat them. So happy to see you using them too!

  4. How do you clean your iron pan after a meal like that?

    • technically you’re not supposed to use soap, but the finex (the cast iron pan i use) is so slick that when i use soap, it doesn’t de-season. typically we heat up a bit of water, or better yet, just pour in a bit of water right after we scoop everything out and then use a brush (the dishwashing brush stick thing) with a bit of soap to scrub everything while the pan is still hot. it works really well :)

      Stephanie Le on July 22, 2016 at 9:12 am
  5. I’m so jealous of all the camping and nature and… SARDINES!!! Now you’re just mean…

  6. Your camp cooking is way more ambitious than mine is. This looks fantastic- camping or not.

  7. Oh wow! My mom would love this and I will definitely make this for her. She loves sardines and this recipe is perfect. I will try to make it with a sunny side up egg. Looks delicious!

    Ron

  8. The sardines is good ! its a Golteb . very very good golteb!

    MachiatoMan on July 19, 2016 at 7:06 pm
  9. Sardine and garlic sauce?! I’ve never tried anything like it and I’m so fascinated, Steph! This sounds so perfect and savory and comforting for a camping dinner. I can’t wait to try (even if I’m just camping in my living room).

  10. Girlllllll I LOVE sardines and gnocchi and this sounds like heaven. Where in the world do you get such adorable mini gnocchi!!! Heart eyes forever! And these pictures are gorgeous! Thanks to Mike for insisting on them and bringing this yum pasta into the virtual world for our inspiration!!

    • they’re the mini gnocchi from world market! i wasn’t gonna try them but they were so cute i couldn’t resist!

      Stephanie Le on July 22, 2016 at 9:10 am
  11. Yum yum yum! Mike and Rich have a lot in common, waiting patiently for their wives to PHOTOGRAPH THEIR DAMN FOOD. Hehe. Love these pics, Steph! XO

  12. Hi Stephanie, that seems like an amazing campsite! Which site number did you choose to be in the olive groves?

    Thanks!

    • hi jackie! you can basically camp where ever you like at soul food farms – the owner is really nice! we chose a spot in the olive grove near a picnic table. there aren’t really any defined spots, it’s very casual :)

      Stephanie Le on August 2, 2016 at 10:50 am
  13. This looks absolutely delicious, and simple as well. Good stuff.

  14. I came across this recipe 2 weeks ago while surfing your site. I cooked it last saturday night, followed the recipe exactly and it was GREAT. It is strong tasting with the sardines and garlic – which i liked ALOT. great recipe – thanks for posting it!

    Joseph Dougherty on October 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm