Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Beans

Here is a nice, fun recipe that I have made often recently. I enjoy this recipe because while the gnocchi, tiny Brussels sprouts, and beans all are of similar sizes, the textures and tastes vary in a pleasant and joyous way.

I now often use the pressure cooker – which I discussed in my modernism and climate change cooking post – to cook beans for later use in other recipes. I like doing so because then I get to use beans that are not too frequently canned – for example, scarlet runner beans or Royal Corona beans. These beans are delicious – and many of them have been part of Jewish kitchens for centuries or millennia. Canned beans, however, work well too for this and, honestly, most recipes. I used large Lima beans in the rendition pictured, but this recipe works with scarlet runner beans, great Northern beans, or any other big bean. The Lima beans add a starchy sauciness that I enjoy.

Gnocchi with (very saucy) Lima beans and Brussels sprouts, and a generous amount of Parmesan. (Photo mine, August 2023)

Longtime readers may remember that I have posted other gnocchi recipes on the blog as well. For the rendition pictured, I used purple sweet potato gnocchi that I found in the frozen aisle at my local supermarket. Feel free to use any color you want – it adds to the pop of the dish.

Gnocchi, Brussels Sprouts, and Beans

Makes 3 servings

2 ½ cups petite Brussel sprouts


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (more for roasting method)

4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 cups cooked large beans, such as Lima beans, scarlet runner beans or great northern beans (1 15.5oz/428g can) – see note below for cooking the beans from scratch in a pressure cooker

1 pound/454g gnocchi

Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving

  1. Prepare the Brussel sprouts. There are two ways you can do this, and both work equally well:
    • Roasting – coat the whole petite sprouts in oil and bake for 20 minutes at 400F/200C on a lined cookie sheet.
    • Steaming – cook on a steam rack over boiling water for 8 minutes. (Learn how to steam here.)
  2. Set a pot of water on high to boil.
  3. While the pot of water is heating, put the olive oil, garlic, salt, red pepper, and oregano in a large skillet and set on medium heat. When the garlic begins to bubble or you can smell the aroma, add the vinegar. Immediately add the cooked sprouts and the beans, and mix thoroughly. Turn off the heat, and set aside.
  4. When the pot is at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi and cook according to package or recipe directions. Generally speaking, gnocchi take about 2 minutes to cook and float when they’re ready.
  5. Drain the gnocchi and add to the skillet with the sprouts and beans. Mix until everything is thoroughly combined. Serve immediately, with Parmesan cheese to taste.
  6. Leftovers keep in a sealed container for 3-4 days. Note that the textures will change slightly.

Note: Here is a good guide on how to prepare beans in advance in a pressure cooker – usually 2/3 cup of dried beans will make 2 cups cooked beans.

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