Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ricotta e Spinaci Gnocchi con Burro e Parmigiano - Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi with Butter and Parmigiana

Gnocchi is a dish we enjoy eating in this house once in a great while. When I do make them, we always find this version with ricotta and spinach pleasingly addictive.

To make the gnocchi; in a large bowl place 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta, 1 cup of flour (bleached or unbleached. Italian cooks generally use unbleached flour when making pasta and gnocchi. Only difference is color; bleached is whiter), 1 large egg, 2 tablespoons finely chopped cooked spinach, fresh or frozen, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg and 1 to 2 teaspoons salt. Work it with your hands to mix until all the ingredients stick together forming somewhat of a dough.

Put the mixture on a granite/quartz counter top or wooden board and knead lightly for 2 to 3 minutes, adding gradually up to 1/4 cup of flour if the dough sticks to the counter or your hands. When you have a soft, pliable dough and only a little sticky, divide it into pieces about the size of small oranges:

Using both your hands, roll out each piece of dough with a light back and forth motion:

The dough will stretch out as you roll lightly back and forth with your hands, creating a long thin roll.
You want the thickness about the size of your pinky finger:

Cut each roll into about 1/2 to 1 inch pieces and place the gnocchi on a floured baking sheet.

At this point you can cook them or place them in the fridge uncovered for several hours or even overnight. These gnocchi can be in the fridge longer than traditional potato gnocchi without losing texture, which makes them a great dish to serve when entertaining since they cook so quickly as well.

When ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Have a large skillet ready with 4 tablespoons unsalted butter.

Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and the gnocchi. Cook over high heat until the gnocchi float to the top of the water, 1 to 2 minutes. In the meantime, melt the butter in the skillet. When gnocchi are cooked, remove from water with a skimmer or slotted spoon, draining off the excess water over the pot. Put gnocchi in the skillet with the butter and add about 1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano. Add salt to taste if needed. Stir to coat gnocchi and cook less than a minute. Serve at once. You can top with more parmigiano if desired.


  1. This looks so delicious, and doesn't sound hard to make at all! Wow! I always thought it seemed harder! It just takes some time and some TLC! Boy...looks delicious!

  2. Thanks Jen. When you make them let me know how you enjoy them. A tip: don't knead too hard or long or the gnocchi will be tough. Have fun!