Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan is probably one of the best cookbook investments I've ever made; it's taught me how to make the Italian food I enjoyed eating in Italy and in the homes of Italian friends but could never replicate in my own kitchen. The author's recent passing had me pulling the book from the shelf to delve into once again, something I hadn't done for some time.
I've learned that simplicity is often the key to a good Italian dish....not necessarily in its preparation, though techniques are often quite basic, but in the ingredients. For Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi (page 262), which Marcella describes as being like the tortellini filling without the pasta, cooked fresh or frozen spinach (I used fresh), ricotta and Parmesan cheese are the stars. Combined with a little cooked onion and nutmeg for added flavour, and flour and egg yolks to bind the mixture and the gnocchi dough is done and ready to be shaped.
They take just minutes in a pot of boiling salted water to cook and plump up so you need to have the sauce at the ready. I followed Marcella's recommendation and served them with Tomato Sauce with Heavy Cream (page 155), one of her fantastic tomato sauces, this one made with chopped vegetables (and less butter than the recipe calls for), to which a little cream is added at the end.
Surprisingly delicate, airy pillows of yumminess bathed in a creamy, tangy tomato sauce....delicious! 

These are two recipes that will get repeated often but there are still many more to explore in this book.

I'm sharing this post with Cook-Your-Books, hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.


  1. Hi Zosia,
    This looks really delicious! Gnocchi is one dish that has been on my list of to-try for ages! Wish I could have some right now, love the way you describe it, delicate yet delicious!
    Thanks for sharing with CYB!

    1. Thank you, Joyce. I hope you do try them; these were very easy to make (easier than the potato versions I've tried)


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