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  • Recipe Room  »  Spinach, ricotta and parmesan gnocchi with tomato sauce



    For the gnocchi

    • 500g fresh spinach, discard any tough stalks
    • 25g butter
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • freshly grated nutmeg
    • 150g ricotta
    • 125g freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan
    • 60g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
    • 2 large organic egg yolks
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the tomato sauce

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
    • 400g can tomatoes
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil leaves
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    To serve

    • freshly grated vegetarian parmesan
    • extra virgin olive oil

    Spinach, ricotta and parmesan gnocchi with tomato sauce


    Tip the spinach into a large pan over a medium heat and cook until the leaves are wilted and tender. Drain and leave until cool enough to handle, then squeeze the spinach between your hands to remove as much water as possible and roughly chop.

    Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add a quarter of the chopped onion and cook over a medium heat until tender but not coloured. Add the chopped spinach and cook for a further 2 minutes. Tip into a bowl, season with freshly grated nutmeg, salt and black pepper and leave to cool. Add the ricotta, Parmesan, plain flour and egg yolks to the mixture and mix until smooth. Cover and chill the mixture for a couple of hours to firm up.

    Meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the remaining onion and cook until soft but not coloured. Add the crushed garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the canned tomatoes, caster sugar and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer over a medium heat for about 7 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the chopped basil.

    Lightly dust the work surface with a little plain flour and roll the spinach mixture into a log about 3cm in diameter. Cut the log into 3cm pillows or gnocchi and lay on a baking tray that has been lightly dusted with plain flour. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and cook for about 3 minutes until tender and the gnocchi float to the surface of the water. Drain the gnocchi and serve in bowls with the tomato sauce, scattered with grated Parmesan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

    Extract from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney, edited by Annie Rigg, published by Kyle Books, RRP $35, click to buy.

    Tips and Tricks

    • Note: Substituting fresh herbs for dried herbs can be a great option if you don’t have any fresh to hand or you know you can’t use it all. A general rule is to use the 3:1 ratio—use 3 times more fresh than dried.

    • To use up leftover spinach, throw it into a breakfast smoothie. It’s a great way to boost nutrition and you wont taste the difference!

    • As soft cheeses deteriorate faster than hard cheeses, they are best stored in a cooler part of your fridge. It’s best to also keep soft cheeses wrapped in grease proof paper rather than plastic, in order that they can breathe.

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