Monday, March 9, 2009

Ricotta & Spinach Gnocchi with Burnt Butter and Pine Nut sauce

Prep time: 1hr
Resting time (letting dough set): 30mins - 1hr
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves 4


300g Ricotta
1 large bunch English spinach
100g flour
50g Parmesan grated + extra to garnish (I used Grana Padano as I could not find Reggiano which is much nicer)
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter

250g butter
150g pine nuts
3 large English Spinach leaves
1/2 tsp nutmeg


1. Wash spinach and cook in a pot of boiling water. Once cooked, cool under running water and remove excess water with paper towels.

2. Chop spinach finely.
3. Add ricotta and spinach into a pot and cook for 3 minutes until excess moisture is absorbed.

4. Combine flour, eggs, nutmeg, butter, parmesan and ricotta mixture in a bowl. Add salt and pepper as necessary.

N.B. Mixture will be quite wet and will firm up after being in the fridge, but if too wet add additional flour.

5. Put mixture into the fridge for at least an hour until it stiffens a bit more.
6. In the meantime, cook the additional spinach for the sauce and chop into strips.
7. Once set, using a dessert spoon get balls of mixture and roll with your hands to form dumplings then coat with flour and set onto a plate until ready to cook.

8. After the gnocchi is ready, prepare the sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan with the pine nuts and nutmeg. Cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes until it starts to turn golden and burnt. Add the spinach and stir through.
9. To cook gnocchi bring a large saucepan of boiling water to boil and add the gnocchi in gently. The gnocchi will rise after a couple of minutes and continue to cook for 30 seconds afterwards.
10. Let the gnocchi rest in a bowl lined with paper towels to absorb water.
11. Plate gnocchi and top with sauce, grated parmesan and cracked pepper.

A good guide would be 5 gnocchi per person (if they were as big as I made them which is roughly double the normal gnocchi size.

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