Italian Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

Serves 4

Italian Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi


For the gnocchi
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 150g ricotta cheese
  • 50g plain white flour
  • 60g vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, grated
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra vegetarian Italian-style hard cheese, grated
For the tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece fennel or celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 450g fresh tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
  • 150ml white wine
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly groudn black pepper


  1. For the tomato sauce: Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, fennel or celery, if using, and the garlic and cook gently until tender.
  2. Add the fresh tomatoes and white wine and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until starting to reduce and thicken.
  3. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and seasoning to taste. Keep warm.
  4. For the gnocchi: Wash the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes in a covered pan in just the water left clinging to the leaves.
  5. Turn into a sieve and press down well to remove as much liquid as possible. Chop the drained spinach.
  6. Beat the spinach into the ricotta cheese, together with the flour, 60g Pecorino or Parmesan and enough egg yolk to bind.
  7. Season well with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  8. Use floured hands to help you shape the mixture, about 1 teaspoon at a time, into little balls.
  9. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop batches of the gnocchi into simmering water. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until they float on the surface.
  10. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a greased ovenproof dish.
  11. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted, then serve immediately.

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