Here’s a family recipe I learned from Mom, refined and revisited over a couple decades. Simple, fast, never fails and kids love them: tested on two rounds of friends’ kids.
We’re talking vegetable gnocchi here: spinach or chard, or a mix thereof.
Apron-to-dish time: 45 minutes.
Here’s what you need for 42 balls (appx. 6 servings):
- 1 kg frozen spinach, beet 50 /50 or your favourite split
- 400g fresh ricotta
- 100g grated parmigiano
- 8 spoonfuls of wheat flour (non-leavening)
- 1/3 grated nutmeg
Put the frozen veggies in a large pot (appx. 5 liters) and steam cook for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, put the ricotta, the parmigiano, the grated nutmeg and the flour in a large bowl you will use to mix everything together (if you dig one of those lovely mixers, use its own bowl).
Take the vegetables out of the pot, do not throw away whatever water’s left. Fill the pot to 4/5 with hot water, add 1½ spoonfuls of salt and put back on the stove.
Strain the vegetables, put them on a cutting board and mince coarsely.
Put the minced vegetables in the bowl with all other ingredients and mix vigorously until there are no lumps of flour, ricotta or vegetables. The resulting mix will be slightly sticky, and soft to spread.
You now have time to wash the bowl, board and utensils before the water reaches boiling temperature.
If you put cold water instead of hot, you also have time to set the table now.
Once the water starts to boil, start making quenelles of the mix and put them in the boiling water. Just put the spoon in th water and move gently, the ball will detach almost immediately. Work through all of the mix, there is no way of overdoing the balls.
Once you’ve emptied the ball, the quenelles will already be floating. Like all gnocchi, floating=done. Take them out with a skimmer and serve over flakes of butter.
A serving is 7 gnocchi for an adult, 3 or 4 for a kid. Expect second helpings.
Sprinkle with grated parmesan. Enjoy!
Try these variations if you have a little more time:
- serve with tomato sauce or meat sauce
- grate in the oven with butter and parmesan
- grate in the oven with tomato sauce or meat sauce
or invent your own variation.
Let me know how they work out for you. Bye!