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Gnocchi Verde

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Gnocchi Verde

Gnocchi Verde
Christopher Hirsheimer
Provided by:
total prep
These little dumplings have many names--gnocchi verdi, gnudi, or ravioli malfatti--but no matter what you call them, they are light and delicious.

Recipe courtesy of Canal House Cooking Volume No. 7: La Dolce Vita by Melissa Hamilton & Christopher Hirsheimer/Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012.



  • For the gnocchi verdi, mix together the spinach, ricotta, butter, parmigiano, and eggs with a rubber spatula in a large bowl. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Sift the flour through a sieve into the spinach mixture. With a spatula, mix it just enough to incorporate the flour. Overmixing the dough will make the gnocchi heavy and tough. The dough will be soft and a little sticky, that’s fine. Refrigerate in a covered container for a few hours or, better still, overnight.
  • For the sage butter, about 20 minutes before serving, melt the butter in a small pan with the sage leaves over medium heat. Turn off heat, cover, and keep warm. To form and cook the gnocchi, fill a wide pan with water to a depth of about 3 inches. Season with salt, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Adjust the heat to keep the water barely simmering. Have ready the chilled gnocchi dough, two teaspoons, and 1 cup cold water. Dip the spoons in the water, then scoop up some dough with one spoon. Use the other spoon to shape the gnoccho into a quenelle. Hold the spoon in the simmering water for a second and the gnoccho will slide off to the bottom of the pan. Cook 6–10 gnocchi at a time. When they float to the surface, cook them for about 3 minutes. Divide the gnocchi between flat soup bowls and spoon the warm sage butter on top. Season with salt and pepper and a shower of parmigiano.

  • Fresh Whole Milk Ricotta
    We make ricotta all the time. It couldn’t be easier. Ricotta means “twice cooked” in Italian because traditionally it’s made from the whey left over when making mozzarella. We have used raw milk, goats’ milk, organic milk, and supermarket milk, and it works out just fine. Make a double boiler out of 2 large pots, with enough water in the bottom pot to come at least halfway up the sides of the top pot. Pour 1 gallon whole milk into the top pot and heat over medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 190° on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt, 1 cup plain yogurt, and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, and stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds to mix everything together. Reduce the heat to low or turn it off. For the next 25 minutes, maintain the milk’s temperature by lifting the pot out of the water if the milk gets too hot, or by returning it as the temperature drops. Don’t stir the milk as the ricotta curds are forming. After about 25 minutes, use a skimmer to carefully lift all the ricotta curds out of the whey and transfer them to a fine-mesh strainer (no need to use cheesecloth) set over a bowl. Allow the ricotta to drain for about 1 hour, then pour off any of the drained whey from the bowl and gently dump the ricotta from the sieve into the bowl. Transfer to a covered container and use within 4 days. Makes 3 cups.