These gnocchi are much lighter than potato gnocchi, although I’m a still big fan of potato gnocchi. I’ve made this recipe with gluten free flour which works really well, but you can use normal flour if you prefer. They take a day to make because you need to strain the ricotta overnight in a sieve, but after that the are easy and worth making because they are clouds of deliciousness. You can also serve them with my sugo instead of the butter and olive oil with fried sage, and then grate lots of parmesan on top. They make a great starter or main meal with a salad.
Serves 6 but you can halve the ingredients for 2-3
500g of ricotta strained overnight in the fridge in a fine mesh sieve or muslin over a bowl
500g of baby spinach or 1 1/2 cups of defrosted frozen spinach after squeezing dry
100g of parmesan very finely grated
nutmeg about a large pinch freshly grated
100g of flour, I use Doves gluten free but normal is fine
lemon zest finely zested from one lemon
sage leaves about 20
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Put the spinach in a large pan on a medium heat with a couple of tablespoons of water and season with salt and pepper. Stir till soft and cooked through. It will shrink down radically. Drain in a sieve and press with a spoon to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Leave to cool then squeeze with your hands over a sink to remove more liquid, I do this in two batches. The spinach needs to be as dry as possible. Place in a chopping board and chop well.
Get a big mixing bowl and put in the drained ricotta with the parmesan and mix well. Mix in the lemon zest, nutmeg, egg, spinach and flour, I use my hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
With a teaspoon take a heaped spoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball and then roll it into a fat sausage shape. Place this on a oiled tray that will fit in the fridge and repeat till you have used up all the mixture. Place them in the fridge for half an hour.
In a large frying pan heat the oil and butter and fry the sage leaves till crispy, but not brown. Drain them on a clean tea towel. The oil will go brown but that’s fine.
Bring a very large pan of salted water to the boil and add the gnocchi. Cook for about three minutes or so until they float to the surface, then remove them with a slotted spoon as they bob up. Place the gnocchi in the pan with the olive oil and butter. Serve with the crispy sage leaves and more gratings of parmesan.