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Spinach Gnocchi

January 7, 2013

by Emilygnocchi

I have attempted to make gnocchi several times, never once making it to the blog. While I consider myself  a pretty organized person, any gnocchi recipe should call for advanced dough prep in its very first sentence. Why? Because when you notice they recommend two hours for the dough to chill one hour before dinner time, you have a problem. Usually I end up throwing the bowl in the freezer so the dough firms up and then hurriedly forming the gnocchi just in time to toss them in a bowing pot of water, with no time to take pictures or make them more petite in size.

gnocchi dough

Luckily, you have been warned! Unlike me, you will read the recipe in advance and plan popping out of bed the day you plan to make this, and get the dough part out of the way. Let the gnocchi dough (and yourself) chill and rest so you’ll be ready for the more important steps that follow. Surprisingly, it  isn’t nearly as difficult to make this potato pasta as you might think, so long as you are on top things! Enjoy!

Spinach Gnocchi
via  New York Times

1 1/2 pounds bunch spinach, stemmed and thoroughly cleaned, or 3/4 pound baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces ricotta (1 cup)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
Freshly grated nutmeg
2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)
Marinara sauce for serving

Blanch the spinach for no more than 20 seconds in salted boiling water. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop fine.

Heat the butter or olive oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan and add the spinach, salt (remembering that you will be adding Parmesan, which is salty), pepper, ricotta and flour. Stir together and let the mixture sizzle while you stir constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs, nutmeg and Parmesan. The mixture should be stiff. Transfer to a bowl, cover well and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.

Line a sheet pan with parchment and dust generously with flour. Remove the gnocchi mixture from the refrigerator. There are a few ways to form the gnocchi. You can scoop out small balls by the rounded teaspoon and place on the parchment (they will be sticky so use another spoon to scrape them out of the measuring spoon), or you can divide the dough into 4 pieces and on a floured surface, with lightly floured hands, gently roll each piece into a coil about 3/4 inch wide.  Cut into 1-inch pieces and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Alternatively, place the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8 inch round tip and pipe 1-inch blobs onto the parchment. Don’t worry if the dough is sticky.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Meanwhile heat the tomato sauce in a saucepan. Adjust the heat under the water so that it is boiling gently and drop in the gnocchi, about 10 at a time. If they stick to the parchment or your hands lightly flour your fingers and sprinkle a little flour over the gnocchi. Once they float to the top simmer for 4 minutes, then move them to the pan of sauce with a slotted spoon. Serve with the sauce and additional Parmesan to taste.

Yields 60 1-inch gnocchi, serving 6

The dough can be refrigerated for a day or two. The cooked gnocchi will keep for a day in the refrigerator and can be reheated gently in tomato sauce, in olive oil or butter, or by dipping into gently boiling water.    

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