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Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe

These spinach and ricotta gnocchi, Italian dumplings, are made with few simple ingredients but are very tasty. While making them, you will notice that their texture is much softer than the regular potato gnocchi; however, they will get firm once cooked and a little patience spent in preparing this recipe will pay off in the end.

Spinach and ricotta gnocchi can be served with different style of sauces, but because of their delicate flavor, I prefer to enhance them simply with butter and herbs in this case, fresh sage.

Ingredients and Instructions (serves 4):

1 package of frozen spinach (10 oz/285 g.)
pound of Ricotta cheese (340 g)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 large egg
6 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano cheese
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage leaves

1. Cook the spinach in boiling water for a few minutes and drain well.
2. Meanwhile, using a fine mesh strainer let the ricotta cheese drain any liquid.
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the spinach, the ricotta, salt, nutmeg, egg and 3 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Put the flour in a dish, then take a spoonful of the mixture, drop it and roll it into the flour and shape it into a small ball. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, and make an even number of gnocchi to divide equally for each serving (this will vary from the size of each dumpling but they should be about the size of a large date).
5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook the ricotta gnocchi for about 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pan with the chopped sage in it.
7. Remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and let them drain over a towel (not paper, which might break and stick).
8. Divide the gnocchi into 4 shallow pasta bowls, pour over the melted butter and sage, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese and serve at once.

Wine Pairing Suggestion: because of the simple butter and herbs sauce, my suggested wine for the ricotta and spinach gnocchi is a light white like Italian Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio or also an American Pinot Gris.

Enjoy and buon appetito!

Cinzia Aversa, 2014

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