Gnocchi verdi or green gnocchi.. this was the first time I made them. I loved the colour and the taste and the recipe is not that different to the classic gnocchi recipe. All you do is adding pureed spinach to get a nice green colour and a bit of extra taste and goodness.
The recipe for gnocchi is very simple but making gnocchi does take a little practice. One of the common problems is choosing the right type of potatoes. If you find the right ones than you are almost there. This is because potatoes absorb lots of water when you cook them but not all of them do so in the same way. Floury and starchy potatoes are the ones to go for for gnocchi making.
In the case of spinach gnocchi you will need to steam the spinach or just wash them first (if using fresh ones) and then cook them in a pan without the lid on. I usually don't add any water. They will cook in a few minutes and all the water will evaporate. This is important to avoid having to add too much flour which will result in hard and chewy gnocchi.
You can serve them with a simple sauce of butter and sage. Just heat up some butter with a few sage leaves for a few minutes and serve this dish with the butter and smoked ricotta cheese or lots of parmesan on top. A nice tomato sauce will go very well too.
- Prep Time : 30 minutes
- Cook Time : 35 minutes
- Yield : 4
- floury potatoes (like Maris Piper, Desiree or baking potatoes) - 800 g - 3 + 1/2 cup
- plain flour (spelt or wheat) - 300 g - 3 cups + extra for sprinkling
- cooked spinach - 200 g - 7/8 cup
- sea salt
Put the potatoes (without peeling them) in a sauce pan and cover them with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook them for 30 minutes or until soft. Check with a fork if they are cooked.
Drain them, let the cool down for a couple of minutes then peel them; make sure you don't burn yourself! It helps using a pair of gloves. You need to peel them whilst they are still warm to allow the steam to evaporate. In this way they won't retain too much water.
Using a potato ricer mash them and spread the mashed potatoes on your worktop. Let them cool down well. Whiz the spinach to a puree consistency and add them to the mashed potatoes with the flour and a teaspoon of salt. Working with your hands combine the ingredients well forming a big lump of dough.
Sprinkle some flour on your worktop. Divide the dough into 4 chunks and roll each of them into sausage shapes. Add a little extra flour if the dough feels too sticky.
Using a knife cut the sausages into 1 cm or 0.4 inch wide segments.
Dust them with flour, and roll each of them in the palm of your hand making small balls or if you have a gnocchi ridger you can make the traditional gnocchi shape. You can do this with a fork too by placing the gnocchi pillow against the lines of the fork and then use your thumb to press in and down the length of the fork.
Place the gnocchi onto a floured plate or tray.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil then dip each of the gnocchi in. They are ready when they rise to the surface. Fish them out with a slotted spoon, drain them and serve them with your preferred sauce.