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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

Spinach Gnocchi with Shaved Ricotta Salata

April 13th, 2015 · No Comments · Allergies, City Cooking, Columbus Day, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Greenport, Holiday, Italian, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Pasta, Side Dishes, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Thanksgiving, Tips, Travels, Vegetarian, Wine

Spinach GnocchiMaking gnocchi is one of my favorite stress relievers.  It is a great family project for a Sunday afternoon over tea or wine, or in the company of good friends who are comfortable with the silence and focus of this culinary exercise.  The repetitive function of rolling the dough into the logs and then cutting them into small pieces is actually relaxing.

As you run the dozens of little pillows of dough one by one across a fork or gnocchi paddle you focus on the present. Think of it like gardening or knitting and the relaxation that the repetitive motion brings us.

The addition of spinach and a garnish of your favorite garden herbs adds a bright garden hue to this dish and makes for a lighter, healthier dumpling to enjoy for the perfect spring dinner or Meatless Monday.

Recipe adapted from Marc Vetri’s contribution in Food and Wine Magazine

2 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed
1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese (1 ounce)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain, dry, fine bread crumbs
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly grated Grana Padano or shaved ricotta salata, for serving

In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the spinach until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Cool the spinach in a bowl of ice water, then drain and squeeze dry. Wipe out the pot, fill with water and bring to a gentle simmer.

Meanwhile, transfer the spinach to a food processor. Add 3 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid and puree until very smooth; add a bit more cooking liquid if needed.

Scrape 1 cup of the spinach puree into a large bowl. (Reserve any remaining puree for another use.) Mix in the grated Grana Padano cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup of the flour to form a soft dough.

Spread the remaining 1 cup of flour in a pie plate and dust a large rimmed baking sheet with flour. Gently roll the gnocchi dough into 1-inch balls. Carefully roll the gnocchi in the flour, shake off the excess and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Add salt to the simmering water. Add half of the gnocchi to the pot and cook until they rise to the surface, then simmer until cooked through, about 3 minutes (about 5 minutes total cooking time). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a platter. Cover loosely with foil. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.

In a skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Spoon the herbed olive oil over the gnocchi. Top with the grated Grana Padano or shaved ricotta salata and serve. It makes for a great main dish and a perfect match with a glass of 2013 Riesling from Influence Wines. This dish preceded or proceeded by a salad course and some bruschetta leave have your guests impressed as well as well-fed.

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