Finally a savory entree and not a dessert! Instead of being made of potatoes+egg+flour like the "regular" gnocchi, these "green" gnocchi are made of spinach+egg+ricotta+Parmesan. They can (should) be frozen. Be patient. The effort you spend doing the work is worth it. You will recover it later, when you will save time by having the gnocchi ready to eat out of the freezer.
Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Butter
1.5 kg (3lb 5 oz) fresh spinach, stalks removed (or 400 gr (14oz) thawed frozen spinach)
50 gr (1 3/4oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbs chopped marjoram leaves
1 small nutmeg, grated
250 gr (9oz) ricotta cheese
75 gr (2 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour (+extra for dusting)
50 gr (1 3/4 0z) fresh breadcrumbs
100 gr (3 1/2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
75 gr (2 1/2 oz) butter
15 gr (1/2 oz) sage, stems removed
grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
1. Cook the spinach in a large saucepan with a generous amount of salt and a little water until it just begins to wilt. Drain, then rinse in cold water and squeeze as dry as possible. Finely chop.
2. Melt the butter and cook the onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the marjoram, spinach, and nutmeg and season. Remove from the heat, put the spinach in a large bowl and spread it out to cool completely.
3. Stir in the ricotta, eggs, flour, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or Parmesan if needed. The gnocchi should be well seasoned as they will be dusted with flour and then cooked in water, which tends to dilute their flavor a little. Put the mixture in the fridge and allow it to chill and stiffen up.
4. Roll the gnocchi into walnut-sized balls, dusting your hands regularly with flour as the mixture will be sticky, and put them on a lightly floured tray. This might be a little messy, so occasionally rinse your hands in warm water.
5. To make the sage butter, melt the butter and stir in the sage
6. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, then reduce the heat a little. Add the gnocchi in batches, stir gently and return to the boil. Don't overcrowd the saucepan with the gnocchi or the might break up. Cook until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Once they are cooked, pour on the sage butter and sprinkle with Parmesan.
NB: a) I used less butter both in the gnocchi and the sauce. And it works just fine. b) Once done, freeze them (keep them separated on a paper plate). When frozen- put them in a plastic bag.