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