Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Ricotta Gnocchi with Mushrooms & Spinach

After we went to the St. Lawrence market on Saturday, we stopped at Quality Cheese in Vaughan before heading home, and as a result, this is going to be "Cheese Week". We got some lovely fresh ricotta cheese there, and I used some of it to make these gnocchi.

They were quite easy and quick to make, but do be careful not to handle them too much or they may get tough. I'm saying 4 servings; that would be for a main course. If you are serving them as an appetizer or first course they would go at least twice as far.

4 servings
40 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Ricotta Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Spinach
Prepare the Vegetables:

6 to 8 cups spinach
250 grams (1/2 pound) mushrooms
1 large onion
3 or 4 green onions
2 to 3 cloves of garlic

Wash the spinach, and remove and discard any tough stems or bad spots. Wash again, chop coarsely and drain well.

Clean the mushrooms and slice them about 1/4" thick.

Peel and chop the onion. Wash and trim the green onions, and chop them fairly coarsely.

Peel the garlic, and mince it.

Make the Gnocchi:
2 cups drained fresh ricotta cheese (300 grams, 2/3 of a pound)
2 large eggs
a litle grated nutmeg or lemon zest
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup kamut or durum wheat flour, plus more to roll out

Put the ricotta in a mixing bowl and beat it well (by hand) until it is smooth and light. Beat in the eggs, and season it with a little nutmeg or lemon zest if you like - not too much, just a scraping of either. Mix in the Parmesan cheese. Gently mix in the flour. It should be well blended, but almost folded in. You are trying to keep your gnocchi as light as possible.

Generously sprinkle a clean board or countertop with more flour. Working with about 1/4 of the dough at a time, pat it out into as neat a rectangle as you can, but remember it is more important to handle it as little as possible than it is to achieve a perfect rectangle. Cut it into little bite-sized squares, and set them aside on a floured pan or clean teatowel as you go. When they are all cut, let them rest for 20 minutes or so.

Put a large pot of water on to boil, adding a generous quantity of salt. Cook the gnocchi in a couple of batches. Don't overcrowd the pan, and keep it at a simme rather than a full boil. They will start by sinking to the bottom of the pan, then rise to the top as they cook. Once they are all at the top and have cooked for 2 or 3 minutes, they should be skimmed out and kept warm while the next batch cooks.

Finish the Dish:
3 or 4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Start cooking the vegetables just as the water is coming to a boil for the gnocchi. Melt the butter in a large skillet, and add the onion. Cook gently until soft, then add the mushrooms and turn the heat up slightly. When they are soft and slightly browned, add the garlic and the green onions. When they are soft and fragrant, add the spinach and cook it down until it is all limp, stirring frequently.

Serve the gnocchi on the spinach and mushrooms, with the Parmesan sprinkled over.

Last year at this time I made Pork & Jerusalem Artichoke Won-Tons.

1 comment:

Angie said...

YummY! I will have to try this!