Monday, November 9, 2009


I'd been waiting to make gnocchi - per Bevan's receipt - for several days, ricotta at the ready, until Vince felt well enough to contemplate something other than: chicken broth; chicken broth with bits of chicken; chicken broth with bits of chicken and an egg yolk and lemon juice and the patient progressed.

Last night was the night.

My relationship with gnocchi is based upon suspicion. I expect leaden pellets. Al di La's malfatti buck the trend and stand at the apex of gnocchi lightness, and I warned Vince NOT to expect this on my first - or even tenth - attempt.

I cheated and used a bag of frozen, chopped spinach from Wholefoods, and now that I know what I know, I will cook and chop it myself next time. It was a little fibrous in an otherwise...light and fluffy gnocco! Like, OMG.

Instead of making small pellets, I made larger ones.

When they floated, I let them stay up there for another minute. As each one popped up I put another in, to lurk on the bottom. I scooped them with a perforated ladle directly onto warm serving plates.

...poured over their sauce, sprinkled parmesan, and we ate.

This is Bevan's recipe, apart from the sauce, which is mine. His gorgonzola sauce is below, if you feel brave. My only culinary Achilles Heel is blue cheese. Makes me itch.

Gnocchi Verde - for Two Humans

8 oz (about 2 bunches) spinach, cooked and squeezed dry [do not take this lightly] and finely chopped

¾ cup ricotta [I used 1 cup: greedy]

½ cup dried bread crumbs

1 egg beaten

½ cup parmesan

salt, pepper, nutmeg

flour for dusting

Mix spinach, ricotta, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thoroughly and then refrigerate for 2 hours.

Roll into balls about two cms in diameter [mine were long, about an inch and a half; I used two dessert spoons for shaping], and then roll in flour. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a large pot boil 2 quarts of water and drop the balls in a few at a time. Keep the water simmering. When the balls rise to the surface cook for 1 minute longer and then remove.

You can also gratinate them by pouring the sauce over, sprinkling the parmesan and grilling.

Sage Butter Sauce

1/4 stick butter
Handful of sage leaves
1 gentle squirt of fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan

Melt butter, add sage, cook gently (you may allow it to turn barely brown), squirt the lemon (very gently!!!), add salt and pepper. Pour over plated gnocchi, sprinkle parmesan at once and eat at once.

In case it's not clear: these are easy. And delicious.

Gorgonzola sauce

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup gorgonzola

salt, pepper

grated parmesan for sprinkling

In a heavy-bottomed pan mix cream and gorgonzola. Bring to the boil and cook stirring till slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper. Keep warm.


  1. These don't sound nearly as intimidating to make as I always thought they were!

  2. OK...this doesn't seem beyond me. The only time I ever tried the results were...not very appetising. (Except to the chooks!)

  3. Could NOT be happier to have this recipe! I've tried too many bad (and by bad I mean leaden) gnocchi recipes and with all the greens we're getting in the CSA share, this sounds like a plan. I'm with you on the blue cheeses. No can do.

  4. lady this looks unbelievable! congratulations on your totally light and fluffy achievement! word!

  5. I love gnocchi. Mine always end up so gummy and chewy though. I'll have to try this recipe.

  6. Very nice. And was the cat interested in something new but also called pellets?

  7. Gnocchi amazing - but no blue cheese? It fills me with immense sadness.

  8. LOL, gnocchi pellets! How could the cat miss out on that? But they were absolutely delicious!

  9. I also thank you for this recipe and instructions. If I can make it work, it will go in my power rotation of easy but interesting meals. This post reminds me: have you seen a little book called Notes on Cooking: A short guide to an essential craft, by Lauren Braun Costello and Russell Reich? You may know everything in the book (I did not) but it never hurts to refresh your brain about cooking skills. Highly recommended.

  10. m. - no, I was surprised, too.

    dinahmow - go for it!

    Pritha ! I must call you!

    Ellen - I don't CSA. I must CSA. Thing is, I enjoy shopping...

    Bonbon - fo' shizzle my nizzle

    Thomas - testing again tonight to see it was a fluke, or a flounder. or a sole.

    Arcadia - uiteindelik, iets leuk(s?)!

    Rachel - le chat did not even attempt to beg. Nothing in it he liked.

    jvdh - I know :-( a deep flaw.

    Donna. For sure. Easy.

    Lily hydrangea - itwas itwas!

    Beence, more tonight, dude.

    Pam - no, I don't know it. Shall seek. Thank you :-)

  11. Well, I tried to make the gnocchi last night. Utter failure. I'm sure it was user error---I'm overly confident sometimes and think I can shave off 15 minutes here, a 1/4 cup there. With some recipes it doesn't matter. In this case it did. I ended up with, basically, creamed spinach but it tasted wonderful. So I'll probably try it again.

  12. I'm so sorry Pam! Creamed spinach, hmmm... meaning the gnocchi didn't stick.

    Breadcrumbs are basically the glue, with the egg. Did you use those?

    Was the spinach squeezed very dry before you added it to the ricotta?

    And did they chill for long enough in the fridge before and after shaping?

    Also, they may have cooked too long?

  13. I didn't chill the balls for 2.5 hrs as suggested, more like 1.5 hrs (half time in the freezer). I did squeeze the spinach thoroughly, so I don't think that was the problem. I may not have used enough bread crumbs. The balls fell into the simmering water but never actually rose to the surface...they started disintegrating pretty quickly. So I scooped out the mush, plopped it on a dinner plate, and poured over the yummy sage-butter sauce (fresh sage from my very own garden).

  14. Well, I had much the same result as Pam...disintegration.
    Yes, it was frozen spinach, but I squeezed til all "juice" stopped. I did refrigerate for 2 hours, but I suspect our extremely hot and humid night was the undoing.
    If I do this again in summer I'll have to figure a way around this!
    Also, I used commercial bread crumbs which were much finer than my own.
    And the sage? Gone to cooler climes, but I used fresh basil. Wonderful!

  15. For Pam and MIT - I feel I failed you. Bad recipe writer.

    But I'm not sure where the trouble lies: do the gnocchi remain intact after they float to the surface? Or do they fall apart on the bottom, like some of us( wahahahaha, sniff).

    My suggestion - not that you're going to want to try again - is to scoop them out as soon as they float to the top. My 'two minutes' might be overkill. See, there's very little to cook, so perhaps keeping them in the boiling water too long might lead to coh-lapse.

  16. Blue cheese and beef. Cannot not get enough.

    But, on these gnocchi? Probably not.

    My first thought was potatoes- therefore leaden. No potato, no lead. But maybe I've a limited knowledge of gnocchi.

    Any which way, left over ricotta from lasagna, means its time to branch into gnocchi. Thanks for the recipe.

    PS- I think it is you who should have a food blog or at the very least a list or search so it is easy to find all the recipes that I am looking for that I once read about on 66:)


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