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    Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

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    Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

    A classic of Italian cooking, gnocchi di spinaci e Ricotta bear scant resemblance to the better-known potato gnocchi. Lighter and easier to make, they have a fine flavour and even pretensions to some sort of healthiness, what with all that spinach.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 1 hour, plus chilling
    • Cooking time: 10 minutes to 15 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling 60 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 500g frozen or fresh spinach
    • 250g Ricotta cheese
    • 100g Parmesan, freshly grated
    • 150g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
    • 2 medium eggs
    • Freshly grated nutmeg
    • Sauce
    • 2 big sprigs parsley (bouquet garni)
    • 2 bay leaves (bouquet garni)
    • 3 generous sprigs thyme (bouquet garni)
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp tomato purée
    • 1 tsp caster sugar


    1. If using fresh spinach cook until just wilted. If using frozen, let it thaw. Drain in a sieve, then squeeze out as much water as possible with your hands. You should end up with 250g of fiercely squeezed spinach. Chop it up finely.
    2. Beat the Ricotta until smooth and stir in the spinach, Parmesan, flour, eggs, plenty of nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix the whole lot together with your hands, cover and chill for an hour or more.
    3. To make the sauce, fry the onion and carrot slowly in the oil until tender. Now add the garlic and cook for another minute. Tip in the remaining sauce ingredients, then season. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it catching on the bottom, adding a splash of water if necessary. Cool slightly, remove the bouquet garni and liquidise.
    4. Meanwhile, spoon plenty of flour onto a plate, and flour your hands. Scoop out dessertspoons of the Ricotta mixture and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the flour, then place them on a floured tray.
    5. Bring a wide, shallow pan of water to a simmer. Add your gnocchi, taking care not to overcrowd the pan, and poach for 10-15 minutes till al dente, turning now and then. While they are cooking, reheat the tomato sauce. Lift the cooked gnocchi out of the pan with a slotted spoon. Arrange on warm plates and nap with tomato sauce. Pass the Parmesan around, too.

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