Thursday, June 04, 2009
spinach ricotta gnocchi
What to do with 50 quarts of spinach?
Besides blanch and freeze, start cooking up delicious dishes that require lots of this delicious, nutritious power food.
Tonight I made spinach and ricotta gnocchi baked in a simple tomato sauce. The gnocchi sound more daunting to make than they really are--they're fast and simple to craft, and require straightforward ingredients. As such, use the best ingredients you can find, say handpicked spinach and ricotta from the local Italian restaurant:)
These gnocchi are sometimes called gnudi--naked ravioli. Hee.
Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi
adapted from The Bon Appéit Cookbook
(this is half of the original recipe, and it makes four servings)
12 oz. spinach
1 c. whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 large egg yolk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Wilt the spinach, drain, squeeze out the excess water, and chop. Mix with remaining ingredients until a sticky dough forms.
Flour a work surface and your hands, and roll out the dough into ropes. Cut the ropes into one inch pieces, and gently roll them into ovals.
Cook small batches of pasta in boiling, salted water for four minutes. Drain.
Serve as desired.
Quick Tomato Sauce
1 TBS olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
red pepper flakes to taste
Italian herb mix to taste
handful of fresh basil, chopped
Heat olive oil and garlic in medium sauce pan over medium heat until garlic is just starting to soften.
Meanwhile, process the tomatoes in a food processor until you reach desired chunkiness level. (i like mine smooth).
Add tomatoes to garlic, toss in dried herbs. Allow to come to a gentle boil over medium heat, and then lower the heat and simmer. Right before serving, add the fresh basil.
Baked Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce
Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Add gnocchi, top with sauce, and extra parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the sauce and cheese are bubbling and deliciousness permeates your kitchen.
The finished dish was wonderful--the gnocchi delicate and tender, the flavors of spinach and ricotta clear and simple. The tomato sauce (and a glass of Italian Red) was the perfect acidic compliment to all that creaminess.