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Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi with Spring Vegetable Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 250g packet frozen finely chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 500g wedge fresh Australian ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Australian parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2-3/4 cup plain flour
  • extra flour, for dusting
  • Spring Vegetable Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 punnet grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh basil leaves and grated Australian parmesan cheese, for serving
Download Recipe (PDF)

Method

  1. 1. Mix spinach, ricotta, parmesan nutmeg and pepper together until smooth and even. Mix in 1/2 cup flour until a moist, but not sticky dough forms. Test mixture by rolling pieces of dough into small balls, the mixture shouldn't stick to your hands. If the mixture is very sticky, add extra flour.
  2. 2. Sprinkle a clean bench with extra flour, roll teaspoonfuls of the ricotta mixture into balls and then roll in the flour to lightly coat. Refrigerate on floured plates until ready to cook.
  3. 4. Gently drop gnocchi in a large pot of boiling water, and cook until gnocchi floats to top(approximately 5 minutes), gently remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  4. 3. For the sauce, heat olive oil in a large heavy based frypan over high heat, add tomatoes, asparagus, peas and spring onions, cook over high heat, stirring ocassionally for 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add gnocchi and basil to the sauce and toss for 1-2 minutes until coated and glossy.
  5. 5. Spoon gnocchi into bowls and serve with grated parmesan.

Tips / Handy Hints

It is handy to test cooking a small ball of the gnocchi mixture before rolling them all out. If it starts to crumble in the water add a little more flour to the mixture. Lightly coating the gnocchi in flour before cooking will prevent them from crumbling in the water. The amount of flour required for the dough will depend on the moisture in the ricotta and spinach. Look for a moist dough that doesn't stick to your hands excessively. Use fresh ricotta cut from the wedge at the deli for this recipe. If you use smooth ricotta from the tub, the mixture will require significantly more flour and be tougher in texture. Gnocchi will keep uncooked, lightly floured in the refrigerator for 2 days.

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