SPINACH AND RICOTTA GNOCCHI - I
PLEASE NOTE: We have not yet succeeded in making these gnocchi without flour. See GNOCCHI WITH SPINACH, RICOTTA AND FLOURINGREDIENTS:
- 1 lb fresh spinach, washed and cooked or 10 oz frozen spinach
- 3/4 lb ricotta cheese
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- 3 T flour for dusting
- pinch or two of nutmeg (optional)
- 4 fresh sage leaves (optional)
- 1/4 t freshly ground white pepper
- a bowl of cold water
- Butter an ovenproof dish and set aside.
- Wash the spinach well, making sure no sand or soil is left on it.
- Place in saucepan, cover and cook till tender, a few minutes, without the addition of water. The water clinging to the spinach leaves from washing is sufficient to cock the spinach with a minimum loss of flavor and nutrients.
- Remove from heat and drain thoroughly.
- Finely chop the spinach, place in a colander draining it further.
- Meanwhile, pass the ricotta through a sieve.
- Place spinach in a large bowl along with ricotta, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, nutmeg, salt to taste and pepper.
- Combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon.
- Dust a large platter, pastry board or counter top with flour.
- Dip your fingers in the cold water.
- Take a small amount of the gnocchi mixture and shape into an oval about an inch in length, approximately one and a half times the size of an olive.
- Place them on the floured surface as soon as formed.
- Wet your fingers regularly to keep them from sticking to the gnocchi mixture, or dust them with flour if you prefer.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot bring 4 quarts of salted water (1/2 T of salt) to a boil.
- By the time you have finished preparing the gnocchi the water should be boiling.
- Lower the heat so water is at a simmer.
- Roll the gnocchi lightly in the flour.
- Drop a few gnocchi into the simmering water at a time.
- Remove the gnocchi with a slotted spoon 4 to 5 minutes after the water has returned to a simmer. Gnocchi will rise to the surface when done.
- Place in the buttered dish and keep warm in the oven at setting for warm.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan; add the sage if you are using it, and keep on very low heat for a few minutes making sure not to burn the butter.
- Pour the melted butter over the gnocchi in the baking dish sprinkling with 2 or more T of Parmesan.Bake in a preheated (375 degrees) oven until the cheese melts and browns lightly about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately - Pass the extra Parmesan at table.
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