The entree needs to be vegetarian, too. The spinach gnocchi will have a heavy cream sauce, so maybe something lighter or just in a different direction...Thanks
Would you consider some sort of souffle? Possibly a cheese souffle? It can be put in the oven right before you eat your first course and ready in 15-20 min. Impressive and simple to make.
Well, I guess I don't want to add more cheese to the night. The gnocchi is being served with a heavy cream sauce. Maybe a different kind of soufflé though? Thanks!
Much as I love souffles, I think I'd stay away from eggs and dairy after a rich gnocchi course. Maybe an artichoke stew or something with grilled or roasted vegetables?
Maybe switch the order of courses. Since gnocchi in cream sauce is sort of heavy, that could be your entree; and serve something lighter - like a soup, or salad with roast vegetables, or vegetable terrine, or anything non-starchy/creamy/cheesy - as the starter?
I agree with switching the order of the courses and as a starter I'd do an antipasto platter with various grilled or roasted vegetables and some briney olives etc. If you wanted a bit of cheese on that I'd stick with something not-creamy like feta. Alternatively I'd make a salad with a vinaigrette dressing - perhaps arugula and roasted beets with a few parmesan shavings on top.
I guess it makes sense to think in terms of antipasto - primo instead of primo - secondo for an Italian vegetarian meal, as Italian secondos are generally meat. But if you go that way, I'd maybe do an antipasto like the grilled/roasted vegetables first and the green salad after the gnocchi.
I agree with others about flipping the order but then I also see only wanting to have a bit of the gnocchi. I love gnocchi, but I don't want it as an entree. What about eggplant parm (or some kind of tomato and eggplant dish)? Here are a few random ideas to accompany, though they're also pretty heavy -- arancini (fried risotto balls) or just risotto, a stuffed winter squash or sweet potato ravioli (also yummy with an egg yolk inside), lasagna or lasagna rolls (where you take the lasagna noodle and roll the filling inside; it's less heavy) or a butternut squash lasagna...?
I would go with something acidic to cut through the heaviness of the gnocchi.
perhaps a grilled portobello with balsamic reduction...or the Northern Spy's Kale Salad featured today...
or even a simple ratatouille could be amazing.
I love the antipasto platter idea! I think I'll go with that as the starter, and then maybe have fried artichokes as the side dish with the gnocchi. Much gratitude, everyone!