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    Spinach Gnocchi

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    Spinach Gnocchi

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes plus chilling
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes plus chilling 60 minutes 5 minutes

    Serves: 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter

    Ingredients

    • 675g baby spinach
    • 375g ricotta finely grated
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 125g softened butter
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 3 tbsp '00' pasta flour
    • 100g freshly grated Parmesan
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Method

    1. Drop the spinach into a large pan of boiling water. As soon as it wilts, tip into a colander and cool under cold running water. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the water with your hands. Pat the spinach dry on kitchen paper and chop - but not so finely that it forms a paste. Pat dry again on kitchen paper and set aside. The spinach must be very dry.
    2. Beat together the ricotta and lemon zest. Place the chopped spinach in a wide saucepan over a low heat and add 40g of the butter and all the ricotta mixture. Beat thoroughly for 4 minutes, then remove from the heat and beat in the eggs followed by the flour and 25g Parmesan. Season to taste.
    3. Spread the mixture in a shallow dish and chill, uncovered, until firm (about 2 hours). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 140°C, gas mark 1 and spread the rest of the butter over a large, shallow ovenproof dish.
    4. Bring a large pan of salted water up to simmering point. Lightly sprinkle a baking sheet with flour. Put a bowl of flour close by, for your hands, and cover a large plate with plenty of kitchen paper, for draining the cooked gnocchi.
    5. You are now ready to begin cooking. Place the buttered dish in the oven. Dust your hands with flour and, using a teaspoon, scoop out a roughly oval-shaped dumpling of spinach mixture. Roll it into a smooth oval between your floured hands and drop on to the tray. Repeat the process until you have about 10 dumplings, then gently drop them into the pan of simmering water. Adjust the temperature to ensure the water quickly returns to a simmer but do not let it boil or the gnocchi will disintegrate.
    6. Poach the dumplings for 4 minutes or until they float up to the surface of the water and look soft and puffy. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on the kitchen paper and slip into the dish in the oven. Loosely cover with foil and return to the oven.
    7. Repeat the process until all the dumplings are cooked. Toss them in the melted butter in the dish, transfer to warm plates, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

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