Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Simple Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi

The other day I was really feeling like I'd like some Gnocchi. Rather than traditional, Nana style potato gnocchi, I thought I'd give ricotta and spinach gnocchi a try. Here's how it all went down.

I started the sauce first...although sauce may not be the best term.

In a pot I threw about 10 each halved yellow and red cherry tomatoes, and some chopped sweet onion, a little olive oil and minced garlic. I threw the lid on, and let this go on medium heat, stirring occasionally, the whole time I was cooking.

Now on to the gnocchi, this is a 'pasta' that should have a soft, dumpling like texture. Rolled out to finger thickness and cut into  small pieces.

I used 1 small container of light ricotta cheese. Wrapped it in cheese cloth and squeezed out as much moisture as I could. I then blanched a bag of baby spinach, and again wrapped it in cheese cloth and squeezed out the moisture. The more liquid you get out in this step, the less flour you will have to add.

In a bowl, I mixed the ricotta and spinach with 2 eggs, about a tsp of minced garlic, and a handful of shredded Parmesan cheese. The next bit will go by feel, you will need to add flour, I used half and half white/whole wheat; just until the dough comes together and is easy to handle. It will still pull apart sticky, but you should be able to work with it easily on a floured surface.

Roll it out to finger thickness and then cut into pieces (a little under an inch long). At this point you can either freeze for later or cook it fresh. To cook, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add in gnocchi in portions. (you should have a monolayer on the bottom of the pot, don't over crowd). When the gnocchi float to the top and stay there lift them out. I like to put mine right into a pan with some hot olive oil while I continue cooking the other batches. Tossing them occasionally this way will put a tasty crisp on some.

Serve it up with that tomato 'sauce' on top (hopefully you haven't forgotten about it and have been occasionally stirring), and a little parm!

Super tasty, recipe is good for a dinner for two with a little to spare! What have you been cooking up lately?

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