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Recipe for :

Gnocchi del Casentino (Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi)
 

Cook ItalyThis is one of the recipes that has been provided by Carmelita Caruana from Italy. Carmelita is involved in running cooking holidays in Italy and it is well worth visiting her website - www.cookitaly.com - to find out more.

Ingredients

1 kilo spinach
400g ricotta
6 eggs
400g grated Parmesan
Flour as needed
A litre and a half of hot chicken stock (made from stock cubes will do if you are not planning to serve in soup)
Nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Method
  • Wash the spinach well and put it in a pan with just the water still clinging to the leaves.
  • Squeeze, drain well and chop it finely
  • Add the sieved ricotta, the grated cheese, the beaten eggs and the seasoning
  • Work the mixture with a wooden spoon to blend thoroughly, adding as little flour as possible but enough to thicken the mixture a little so it will hold its shape for rolling and poaching
  • Flour a wooden board, then egg sized small ovals of the ricotta/spinach mix by rolling around with the palm of your hands on the floured board
  • Poach the gnocchi a few at a time, in the hot stock and cook on a medium to high flame
  • When they float to the top (happens in 4/5 minutes) they are done and ready to be strained and kept warm until served.

Serves 8

Notes

  • Can be served with the stock, i.e. in broth, drained with melted butter and grated Parmesan, or with tomato sauce & Parmesan
  • You can also add chopped fresh herbs - sage or parsley - to the melted butter before you pour it on, heating the herbs through a little, just enough to release their flavours
  • Some recipes use a lot of flour - up to half the weight of the spinach and ricotta together. While this makes shaping easier, the resulting gnocchi are heavy, and the best Italian home cooks I know limit the flour as much as possible.
  • Also called "Ravioli di Pastore" or "Gnocchi di Ricotta" , a speciality of the area north of Arezzo

Carmelita Caruana

 
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