Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Simple things

There's something very calming about making batches of gnocchi. All that repetitive plucking and rolling and dipping...this is not a recipe for someone in a hurry.

Having virtually no flour in this recipe gives a souffle-like gnocchi, completely unlike the little bullets from the supermarket. They only need a very simple tomato sauce to complement, not cover, their beauty.

Spinach and Ricotta gnocchi

Serves 4

750g ricotta
350g frozen spinach, weighed when thawed and drained
2 eggs
100g parmesan
25g plain flour
half a nutmeg, grated
salt and pepper

1) Whisk the ricotta with the parmesan, nutmeg and flour until smooth. Now really wring out all the liquid you can from the spinach, if it's too damp it will make the gnocchi fall apart when they cook. Finely chop the spinach and stir into the gnocchi. Season with a little salt and lots of black pepper, then chill for an hour.

2) Now fill a wide, shallow bowl with a thick layer of plain flour, then pluck off enough of the mixture to make a 1 inch ball, drop into the flour, then roll between your palms to make a ball. Repeat until all the mixture is used up, placing the gnocchi onto a lightly floured sheet of greaseproof paper.

3) Bring a large pot of water to the boil, then cook the gnocchi a dozen at a time until they rise to the surface, then leave to cook for another minute and remove with a slotted spoon. Have a warm bowl with a lid ready to keep the cooked ones warm until you have finished.

4) Serve with a simple tomato sauce and perhaps a little parmesan.

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