Isn't this time of year amazing? It was such a horribly hot summer here and I'm really enjoying Fall. Out here in the Midwest, our leaves are at their peak. We got in another 18 holes of golf this weekend and it might be the last, since the rest of the month is so busy. I have a big charity auction dinner to cook and a trip to Chicago to visit our boys in college.
When I say gnocchi, what do you think of? Most people picture the more well known potato gnocchi, but gnocchi in Italy can mean anything that is like a little soft dumpling. These gnocchi do not contain any potato at all.
Some spinach gnocchi contain ricotta cheese and I've made those but I prefer this version, with no ricotta. They are lighter. Be sure to use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese - it makes a big difference. These little beauties can be a side dish or the main event for a light lunch or dinner. Toss them in a little olive oil and/or butter. They're delicious. And look how easy they are to make - it takes just minutes and you can make them ahead, put them in the fridge earlier in the day and then cook them when you want them.
Make your own fresh bread crumbs for this. Just take any bread and grind it in your food processor. Fresh bread crumbs! It makes a difference. Do not use the fine dry bread crumbs in the canister from the grocery store. Just don't do it. When I grind bread crumbs, I grind a whole bunch, divide them into zip locks and freeze them. Then I have fresh bread crumbs whenever I need them. So easy.
for a printable recipe, click here
make about 10-12 gnocchi
* Be sure to use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese - the already grated cheese in the grocery store will not work as well.
- 10 ounces of fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 egg, beaten lightly
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- a few grindings of pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese or Grana Padano
- 1/2 cup freshly ground bread crumbs
Thoroughly wash the fresh spinach and place in a steamer basket. Steam until wilted. Remove and place in clean towels and wring out as much liquid as you can. Chop finely.
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape the mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet or any prep pan. The mixture will be very wet. Flour your hands or roll the gnocchi in a little flour to shape them into balls. (At this point you can stick them in the fridge for a few hours).
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. With a slotted spoon or a handled strainer, place a few gnocchi at a time in the simmering water and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove with the slotted spoon to a serving dish and keep warm by tenting with a piece of foil. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.
You can dress these gnocchi with just some olive oil, sea salt and some more grated cheese. This is my favorite way to eat them.