Friday Challenge / Gnocchi

Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi (BBC Goodfood recipe): Friday Challenge!

So I thought I’d got my head around Gnocchi, three simple ingredients – potato, flour, egg. Then I find this recipe which is cheese, spinach, flour, egg and it’s all thrown up into the air again!Where is the potato? Apparently gnocchi can be made without potato which has opened up many doors for my own recipe, can gnocchi be made out of anything pureed and mixed with flour and eggs?

I decided to cook this recipe to get a better understanding of the different textures of gnocchi and to see how it would turn out after being cooked. The recipe is from BBC Goodfood website and most of the comments were from people praising the recipe so I had high hopes. You can see the recipe here.

The raw mixture was much softer and stickier than the potato gnocchi so using wet hands to shape the dough was essential. Instead of rolling out a log and cutting it into little pillows this dough is scooped up and rolled into balls. It’s far too sticky to do anything else with it.

I love the marbled colour effect from the spinach running through the gnocchi, uncooked they looked really pretty!

When cooked they were very pale and to be honest I don’t think they looked that appetising, I served them with a tomato sauce, salad and garlic bread. I think I added a little bit too much flour because I could taste the flour but that may have been down to quality of parmesan cheese I had used. Also I agree with someone who commented on the BBC website that by cooking and draining the spinach you actually lose all of the goodness so these aren’t very healthy. I’d like to try them again with more cheese and maybe a different way of cooking the spinach.

I also noticed that in the recipe they say to cook for a further 1-2 minutes once the gnocchi float to the surface whereas for the previous recipe I tried they say the gnocchi is done as soon as it floats, this must be because these are bigger than the potato gnocchi. That’s something to keep an eye on when making your own.

What I learnt about Gnocchi:
I learnt that Gnocchi is not neccessarily made from potatoes and you can add other flavourings, herbs and spices into the mixture to make the actual dough more interesting. I learnt that the larger sized gnocchi should probably be cooked for a little longer once floating (they don’t just cook for longer then float?) although this may be open to debate.

I am starting to realise that gnocchi is the sort of dish made as a starter because everyone seems to serve it with ‘a little sprinkling of cheese’ or ‘brown butter sauce and sage’. I prefer to have more elements to my main meal so I’d like to see gnocchi being part of a proper dinner!

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