Spinach Gnocchi With Ricotta

Spinach Gnocchi With Ricotta

Although many popular versions of gnocchi are made with potatoes, this one is made with ricotta cheese and spinach and originated in Florence, where spinach is a staple on nearly every restaurant menu.

Another name for this kind of gnocchi is ravioli nudi -- naked ravioli -- as if it's the inside of a ravioli without its pasta envelope.



  1. Drain the ricotta in a cheesecloth-lined sieve or colander, set over a bowl in the refrigerator overnight. Discard the water that has drained out.
  2. Blanch the spinach in a large pot of boiling water. This will only take about 2 minutes. Drain immediately and cool under cold running water. Squeeze out the excess water. You should have about 1 cup of cooked spinach.
  3. Finely chop the spinach and then using a mortar and pestle or with a few pulses in the food processor (but be careful to not liquefy it), crush the spinach into a fine paste. Transfer to a large bowl and add 2/3 cup of the flour, 2 cups of the Parmesan, egg yolks, drained ricotta, a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. Mix until completely combined and has made a relatively firm dough; if you need more flour to reach that point, add it in small amounts until it holds together.
  4. Dust a work surface with about 1/3 cup of flour. Using 2 small spoons or a small, ice cream scoop, shape 1 heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into a ball, and gently place it onto the floured surface. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make about 40 gnocchi.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  6. In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 375° F. in a small saucepan or using your microwave, melt the butter. Add the sage leaves and let the melted butter sit for a few minutes so that the sage flavors it. Spoon about a tablespoon of the melted sage butter into a baking dish and with your fingers, rub to coat the dish; scatter the wilted sage leaves on the bottom of the dish.
  7. Add the gnocchi to the simmering water in two batches and cook until they float, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, drain each briefly to gently shake off any excess water, and transfer to the buttered baking dish in a single layer. Pour the remaining melted butter over the gnocchi and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.
  8. Bake the gnocchi on the upper rack of the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, let the dish sit for a few minutes and then serve immediately.




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