Words cannot express how excited I am to be sitting here in a sweater right now. Fall is upon us, and I’m hearing all the mid-westerners rejoicing after an oppressive summer. With the onset of autumn comes not only a seasonal change, but a change of pace for Josh and I. So many things are happening! Our best friends are visiting us from Texas this weekend. Josh and I are camping with my family for four days next weekend, PERFECT timing for this weather shift. Later in October we’re leaving for Orlando on a long week’s vacation visiting Universal Studios for their horror mazes (and Stranger Things-themed food, OMGOSH).
I love any and all produce, but the coziness of fall makes me especially sentimental about this season’s available produce. This dish turned out GORGEOUS because of the beets. People get so scared of beets! Why?? The taste is unique, sure, but our liver, brain, and skin love them! They do wonders in the body. Don’t be scared of them. Eat them because they’re delicious and nutritious. In this recipe beets are paired with peppery arugula, tart lemon, savory Parmesan, and a creamy sauce. The optional addition here is turkey meatballs. I loved them paired with the meal, but this dish is wonderful and well rounded by itself for those that would rather omit the meat. Enjoy this lovely pasta created to welcome all that is fall! Xoxo.
*Note: I made everything I needed for my sauce from scratch. In my area it’s hard to find creme fraiche, so I made it. To make creme fraiche, one needs buttermilk. Since it’s just Josh and I, I can never use up buttermilk in time, so I don’t keep it on hand. Hence, I also made buttermilk for my creme fraiche. This way I can make smaller batches that I can use up so nothing is wasted. If you’re in the same boat as me, I will include the recipes and instructions for making those two things!
Turkey Gnocchi With Lemon and Creme Fraiche
For vegetarian version, simply omit the turkey meatballs. Recipe makes extra creme fraiche. Make creme fraiche one day ahead.
6 oz gnocchi
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 beets, diced
grated zest + juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp creme fraiche
2 tbsp Parmesan + more for topping
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, + more for topping
salt and pepper
optional: turkey meatballs
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 chopped onion
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
sprinkle of salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
To make the buttermilk, mix lemon juice into milk and let sit for 10 minutes.
To make the creme fraiche, mix 2 tbsp buttermilk with 1 cup whipping cream in a glass bowl with a lid. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours, then keep in refrigerator.
To make the meatballs, mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the turkey mixture into 1 inch meatballs and place on the baking sheet. Cook for 28-30 minutes.
To make the pasta, cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Heat oil in a large skillet and add garlic, cooking 30 seconds. Add the beets and saute with salt and pepper for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat until lightly browned. Turn the heat down to medium and add the pasta, lemon juice and zest, and the reserved cooking liquid. Stir well until pasta is covered in oil and no water remains. Add arugula, mint, Parmesan, and creme fraiche, stirring until greens are wilted and cheese is melted. Add more salt and pepper, and top with mint and Parmesan. Serve with turkey meatballs if using.