We were invited to lunch at our friends Joan & Terry’s the other day & she made fabulous spinach & ricotta gnocchi which were as light as a cloud. My only attempts at gnocchi previously have resulted in a heavy, chewy, doughy disaster made with butternut squash, not nice, so I was kind of put off. This is why I made my own ricotta(see yesterday’s post) to use in this dish as Joan said it was supposed to be really easy to make, & it was. This recipe was adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking and it worked, they were really light and delicious served with a tomato sauce.
Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe
Serves 2 Vegetarian
- 300gr bag fresh spinach, washed & any stems picked out
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt & pepper
- 150 gr ricotta ( see yesterday’s post on how to make your own)
- 5ogr plain flour
- 2 med egg yolks
- 50 gr fresh grated parmesan
- freshly grated nutmeg
- extra shaved parmesan to serve
- 1 jar tomato pasta sauce (or make your own )
- Put the washed spinach in a large pan with a lid. (You don’t need any water other than what is on the leaves)Add 1 tsp salt, put the lid on & leave it to wilt, over a med heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 or 4 mins.
- When the spinach is wilted leave it to drain in a sieve until cool enough to handle.
- Put the cooled spinach in a clean tea towel or in 2 or 3 sheets of kitchen roll & squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
- Chop the squeezed out spinach roughly and set aside.
5. Heat the butter in a pan over a med heat then add the chopped spinach & a large pinch of salt and cook for about 3 mins stirring regularly.
6. Empty the spinach into a bowl & leave to cool at room temperature.
7. Once cooled add the flour and ricotta to the spinach and mix together well.
8. Add the egg yolks, grated parmesan & some freshly grated nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp ), stir well until everything is incorporated, add some black pepper & taste to see if it needs more salt.
9. Flour your hands and roll small amounts of the mixture in the palm of you hands to make little pellets ( about 3/4 inch long) and put them on a plate lined with baking paper or flour.( See picture above). This makes about 40 small gnocchi enough for 2 people ( you can put them in the fridge at this point, for later, or even freeze them).
10. To serve, bring a large pot of water to the boil & salt well. Drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, off of a slotted spoon into the water, they will sink to the bottom.
11. In another pan heat up your tomato sauce on a med heat. When the gnocchi float to the surface they are ready (about 3 mins depending on the size). Scoop out the floating gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place in the warmed tomato sauce. Continue until all the gnocchi are in the sauce.
12. Serve in warm bowls garnished with shaved parmesan.