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Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi
Bnocchi di Ricotta e Spinaci
¾ pound fresh Spinach, rinsed and stemmed
1 scant cup of Ricotta Cheese (about ½ pound)
1 whole large Egg
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon ground Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
¾ cup Flour, plus more (2 - 4 Tablespoons) for dusting fingers
6 Tablespoons of butter
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling at the table
Serves 4 - 6
Put stemmed and rinsed spinach in a pot of boiling water. Cook for 2 -3 minutes, until the spinach is completely wilted. Drain the spinach. When cool enough to handle, squeeze dry. (The spinach needs to be as dry as possible. After squeezing with a clean hand, try wrapping the spinach in a clean kitchen towel, wrap like a piece of candy, twisting to remove more moisture. The less moisture in the spinach, the less flour needed in the mixture, the lighter the gnocchi will be.)
Put the spinach in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the ricotta cheese, egg, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pulse until completely combined. Transfer the spinach and ricotta mixture into a bowl. Add the flour and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Line two jelly roll pans or cookie sheets with waxed paper and sprinkle with flour.
Melt the butter in a large deep saute pan. Keep on very low heat, so as not to burn.
Generously flour your fingers. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the mixture from the bowl into your fingers and gently shape/pat the mixture into an oval dumpling. Place on the prepared jelly roll pans. Continue forming the gnocchi until you use up all the mixture.
Place the gnocchi in the boiling water. They will sink to the bottom, then rise to the top as they cook. After they rise to the surface, continue to cook for 1 -2 more minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the pan with melted butter. Increase the heat to medium high. Gently toss the gnocchi in the butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss. Serve immediately.
If desired, you can add 1 Tablespoon of freshly chopped basil or parsley to the spinach and ricotta mixture in the food processor, and process.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions