Gnocchi is something so comforting – a meal that can send you into a sleepy state of contentment, and when it’s really good (whether potato based, super cheesy, veggie packed or made with fancy alternative ingredients) it’s a meal that can bring so much happiness.
Only once have I tried making potato gnocchi from scratch and well they weren’t that great, actually I did end up throwing most out, ha (a bit of practise is definitely required there). Another type of gnocchi that I have however made many times with great success is ricotta cheese based gnocchi. Sometimes I’ve added spinach, sometimes other greens and sometimes a combination of pumpkin and greens.
While at Uni my housemate and I occasionally made big batches of this, freezing plates for later nights when we didn’t feeling like cooking – having homemade gnocchi at hand that you can just pull out of the freezer and throw into a pot of boiling water is just so nice. Easy and quick to cook and once plated all you really need is a little olive oil and parmesan on top. Or, if you have more time some homemade tomato sauce, chopped parsley, cracked pepper and parmesan (beautiful with this gnocchi).
This makes a nice amount for 2 people. I recommend serving with warm crusty bread – perfect for soaking up drizzles of olive oil.
Prep time: 20-30mins
Cooking time: ~10mins (This gnocchi doesn’t take long to cook, however as you may need to cook them in batches, total cooking time will be ~10mins)
- 130g fresh ricotta
- 1 bunch of silverbeet, stalks removed and leaves washed and chopped up roughly (note: the stalks are edible and actually really nice cooked, however removing them makes this gnocchi much easier to make and helps them hold together well. You could add these stalks to a soup or even just sauté in garlic, olive and lemon – a nice side dish for another night)
- The zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 egg
- 1.5 Tbsp. plain flour
- 1.5 Tbsp. parmesan, grated
- 1 fresh chilli, chopped finely (optional)
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Olive oil (Extra Virgin is lovely)
- Extra parmesan
- Steam washed and roughly chopped silverbeet: while it may seem like a lot, a whole bunch of silverbeet does reduce a fair bit. I realise that bunches of sliverbeet vary in size – I used the standard size of silverbeet that you often see in grocery stores. Also, depending on your steamer, you may need to steam in batches.
- Once silverbeet is steamed (nice and soft), place in cool water (to cool it down), then drain all excess water. It’s important that you drain as much water as you possibly can, this helps to make sure the gnocchi hold together well.
- Once drained finely chop silverbeet.
- In a bowl, add ricotta, lemon zest, a whole egg, flour, salt and pepper, parmesan, chilli and silverbeet.
- Mix all together (this is easy when using your hands.. a little messy but fun).
- Once gnocchi mixture is evenly combined, cover bowl with glad wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30mins to chill (I find that this helps the mixture to stay together well once you form into balls)
- Wash and dry hands and dust a large wooden chopping board with plain flour.
- If serving your gnocchi with bread, at this point turn on your oven to 150 degrees Celsius and place bread in oven.
- Using your hands, firmly form little ball or oval shapes, rolling them in flour so that they stay together well. How big or little you make them is up to you, but I suggest making them all a similar size as this will make cooking them easier.
- To cook: fill a big saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Have 2 dinner plates ready, and also a sieve spoon for retrieving the gnocchi.
- Once water is boiling, carefully drop gnocchi into the water – if using a big saucepan you can cook the gnocchi in 2-3 batches. As soon as the gnocchi rises to the surface it’s done and ready to be removed and plated. Do remove straight away, drain and plate – I’ve made these before where I’ve left them bopping in the water (while distracted talking to guests), and they began to fall apart, so try not to leave them.
- Once all plated drizzle gnocchi with olive oil (Extra Virgin olive oil is lovely), cracked pepper and parmesan, and serve with your warm crusty bread. A wholesome soul warming meal.