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.
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.