Spinach Gnocchi

When I was younger, I actually would go over to the neighbors house every Friday since that was their gnocchi day and gnocchi just was not something we ate at home. I thought it was incredibly exotic (my mom ate stuff like chicken mole, gorditas, and enchiladas - how boring). I'm sure they were store bought, because I seem to remember them being a bit chewy, topped with a can of red sauce, but at the age of eight, with my discerning palette, I thought they were totally the best. thing. ever.

Fast forward about 10 years and I tried making some pre-made gnocchi remembering my love of it as a child. Sadly, the stuff from the grocery store was just not that good. Now, almost 20 years later, I decided to try my hand at making them from scratch. It's not a complicated process and I'm sure it would get speedier the more that I work at it. As it was, it took me about an hour and a half, but I'll be reaping the rewards for some time (we froze seven dinners worth and ate one that night), so I'm okay with it.

Cooked up in salted boiling water until they floated with an optional sizzle in a skillet, topped with either butter and grated cheese or your favorite sauce and you've got a flavorful, light and airy dough ball dinner. And as much as I love love love potato gnocchi, these spinach gnocchi can alleviate some of the guilt that you might get from eating a meal consisting solely of carbs. But (in my opinion, of course) I think that occasionally indulging in something delicious and not insanely healthful is nothing you should feel guilty over. But if you are tinged with guilt, remember, you're eating vegetables too!
Spinach Gnocchi

Spinach, 12 oz
1 3/4 lb potatoes
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

Begin by cooking your potatoes, until soft, in salted boiling water. This should take about 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. While the potatoes are cooking, wilt the spinach in a large saute pan or pot. Once all the leaves have turned a darker green color and have completely wilted, remove from the heat. Once cooled, squeeze any remaining water from the leaves and chop fine. 

Once the potatoes are done, drain them and then mash. I used a potato ricer to get a finer texture, but you could also use a regular masher or fork. Add the flour, egg yolks and spinach to the potato mixture and season with salt. Then get in there and get dirty. With some additional flour standing by, begin to knead the mixture until it is incorporated together. It will still be a bit sticky, so keep whatever surface you are working on well floured. 

Break the large dough ball into smaller, easy to handle sizes to begin rolling into logs. Roll the logs into 2/3" diameter and then cut out the individual gnocchi (with a sharp knife!) to about 1/2 in length. Flour the gnocchi so that they don't stick together or to the board while you work on the rest. Continue until all the dough has been used up. 
To cook the fresh gnocchi, boil some salted water on the stove. Give it a stir to begin a whirlpool effect right before you drop them in - this will prevent them from sticking together and from immediately sinking (and sticking) to the bottom. Once they float you can remove them - they are done cooking. 
At this point, you can top them with you sauce and enjoy. Or you can add some olive oil to a skillet heated over medium heat and add the gnocchi to that pan, giving each a nice crispy outside while preserving that puffy, pillow-like ball of dough on the inside. Top with sauce (this shallot cream sauce, for example) or butter and enjoy!

To freeze the gnocchi for later use (which will taste way better than the frozen store bought, in my opinion), place the floured gnocchi on a large metal sheet pan (covered with parchment paper) and freeze. Once individually frozen, the gnocchi can be placed in bags or containers to be enjoyed later. We put 30 gnocchi in each container to yield 2 adult servings. Boil directly from frozen.

3 lovely comments:

  1. I love homemade gnocchi! I've made it a couple of times... once lemon-ricotta and another time with Tofu "Ricotta". Freezes so well and is SO filling! These look great, I love the spinach idea.

  2. Jess, your gnocchi looks delicious! What a wonderful, yummy pasta dish done homemade! I especially love that this gnocchi doesn't require a potato ricer or pasta machine. Way to go! :)

  3. Um, can i have some of the leftovers? Thanks! :)