Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi

I adore gnocchi.  I haven’t, however, had much success with making it.  I’ve tried the potato variety (my favourite), and ended up with a pile of slimy mush.  I’ve tried semolina, and ricotta, and not done much better.  But I recently found myself with a bunch of spinach which was rapidly approaching the point where I’d have to use it or loose it to the compost heap in the sky, so when I turned up this recipe, I decided to give gnocchi another go.

The recipe was kind of a disaster.

I followed the instructions exactly (unusual for me) and the mixture was super-wet and sticky and not going to form into any kind of shape at all.  So I added a little flour, and kept adding until, about 1 1/2 cups later, I had a mix that was (just) holding together.

Then I tried to shape it with just lightly floured hands, but that just left me with sticky mix all over the place, and not the nicely torpedo shaped dumplings I was after.  In the end, I simply dropped spoonfuls of the mix onto a floured bench and rolled them from there, which worked just fine.

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi

1 bunch English spinach
500g ricotta
100g of finely grated parmesan
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
a pinch of grated nutmeg
2 tblsp butter
10 sage leaves
Extra parmesan, to serve

Wash the spinach well.  Pile it into a large saucepan with just the water on the leaves, cover, and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until wilted.  Cool slightly, then squeeze out as much water as possible.  Chop finely.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except butter and sage to form a soft dough.  Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a well-floured surface, roll in flour and shape into long sausages.

Cook in batches in a large pot of boiling salted water.  They will only take a few minutes and rise to the surface when ready.  Partly inspired by this recipe for pan-fried gnocchi and kale, I decided to fry my gnocchi lightly once they were boiled, for a bit of colour and to firm up the texture (they were still very soft).

Meanwhile, cook the butter and sage leaves in a pan over low heat until the butter is brown and nutty.

To serve, spoon a little of the butter over the gnocchi, and top with parmesan and fresh black pepper.  Delish.

Awesome Housemate declared that if you served this to someone in a fancy restaurant, they wouldn’t complain.  I’m not quite so taken with them, but I am back on the gnocchi-making wagon, and will definitely be giving those soft, amazing potato dumplings a go soon.

I had the leftovers the next day with a spicy tomato sauce, and I think that was even better.


2 responses to “Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi

  1. I too once lamented my inability to make gnocchi, but I found The Holy Gnocchi Grail. Please let me share it with you, one round vego to another.

    Serves 2 with leftovers (sometimes)
    500g Potato – Desiree, Toolangi Delight – Whatever floury potato really.
    1 cup Plain Flour
    Pinch salt
    That’s it!

    The most important thing about this recipe is that you peel and STEAM the potatoes until soft.
    Whilst hot, mash potatoes (rice if fancy) , add salt to taste and mix through half the flour. Turn out the mix onto the bench and kneed it up adding the remaining flour as it needs it. It should all come together quickly. Once its all combined, cut into quarters and roll out. Cut shapes as desired.
    Cooking time is standard – till they float to the top of the boiling slated water.

    I hope you have success with this recipe! It has totally changed my mind on making gnocchi at home!

  2. Well it looks simple enough…I’m gonna try it! Thanks so much for the recipe!

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