MeatFree Monday: Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

I do love this Meat Free Monday phenomenon that has swept through Cape Town. Considering that we are the first city in Africa to participate in this global initiative makes me a proud cookie and want to commit to the cause. It does perturb me though, that some people don’t see fish as a meat. Anyway…

There is a misconception  that gnocchi is difficult to make. The Potato variety do take a little bit of time because there is a minimal amount of rolling involved and if the potato isn’t warm when you add it to the flour, they can end up being a little heavy. The spinach and ricotta, however, are as light as a feather and with a second pair of quenelling hands, they can be made in made in 30mins or less. 


  • 200g young spinach , washed
  • small handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove , crushed
  • 140g ricotta
  • 85g plain flour
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 100g freshly grated Parmesan-style , plus extra to serve
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • olive oil and rocket, to serve

  1. Boil the kettle. Place the spinach in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it. Leave for 2 mins until wilted, then drain thoroughly. Leave to cool, then wrap a clean tea towel around the spinach. Hold it over the sink and squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop.
  2. Place the spinach, parsley, garlic, ricotta, flour, eggs, cheese and a generous grating of nutmeg into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Use a fork to stir very thoroughly until everything is completely mixed. Using wet hands, form the mixture into walnut-size balls. Place on a large plate or tray and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
  3. When ready to cook, heat the oven to warm and bring a large pan of water to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and drop in batches of about 8-10 gnocchi at a time. They will sink to the bottom, and when they rise to the top give them about 1 min more, then remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve the gnocchi on warm plates drizzled with olive oil and scattered with rocket and more cheese.
Serves 4

PS: I severed mine with some Arrabiatta sauce, which was a right treat to cut through the luuriously creamy ricotta. 

PPS: I found this recipe  on 

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