Spinach Gnocchi (Gnocchi Verdi)
These delicious spinach gnocchi are delicate, both in texture and flavor. They require a little time and effort to prepare, but they make an absolutely fabulous (and elegant) dish to serve for company or a special occasion.
- 24 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and very well-drained
- One 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1-1/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons all purpose flour, plus more for forming gnocchi
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach (see notes on draining), ricotta, eggs, 3/4 cup of the parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg until well blended. Add the flour, 2 tablespoons at a time and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1-1/2 hours.
Scatter about 2/3 cup of flour over the bottom of a shallow baking pan. To form the gnocchi, scoop a scant 1/4 cup of the spinach-ricotta mixture into your hand and form it into an oval gnocchi (about the size of a small egg). Place it on the flour and repeat with the rest of the mixture. The mixture will be rather wet, but you can add a little more flour if you feel the gnocchi are too difficult to form.
Once you have all the gnocchi formed, sift some additional flour over the top so they are evenly coated. Refrigerate again, this time for 15 minutes.
While the gnocchi chills, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter a baking dish large enough to hold the gnocchi in a single layer.
Gently place 6 to 8 gnocchi into the boiling water, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until firmed, about 5 minutes. The gnocchi should float to the surface of the water when they are done. Remove the gnocchi from the water using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat the process with the remaining gnocchi.
Transfer the gnocchi to the prepared baking dish and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and bake until the cheese is lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 24 gnocchi)
It is extremely important to drain the spinach very thoroughly. We recommend placing it in cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and wringing out all the excess moisture prior to mixing it with the cheese.
The gnocchi can be served as the pasta course for a traditional Italian dinner, or as a side dish with an entré like our Garlic-Herb Crusted Boneless Pork Sirloin Roast.