As someone who has never made any kind of gnocchi before,  I found this recipe to be very easy even if you are a newbie in the process like me. These aren’t the traditional potato gnocchi that you might be familiar with, though I have to say they were just as satisfying. These were a big hit at home and were labelled as one of our favourite lockdown dinners yet! They do require a bit of attention but they really aren’t faffy at all and made for a nice lazy Sunday afternoon dinner prep.

I served the gnocchi with a couple of side salads – a Caprese and a simple lettuce green salad. Perfect for a warm spring/summer evening!

More with spinach: Jamie Oliver’s Popeye Toast and EggsQuick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stewRicotta, Spinach & Aubergine Lasagne

Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi


Serves 3-4 | Prep 40 mins | Cook 10 mins
A little effort| Vegetarian

You’ll need:

  • 200g young spinach, washed;
  • small handful parsley leaves, finely chopped;
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed;
  • 140g ricotta;
  • 85g plain flour;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 100g freshly grated vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese, plus extra to serve;
  • ground or freshly grated nutmeg;
  • extra virgin olive oil, to serve.

Boil the kettle. Place the spinach in a large bowl and pour boiling water over it. Leave for 2 mins until wilted, then drain thoroughly. Leave to cool, then wrap a clean tea towel around the spinach. Hold it over the sink and squeeze out as much water as possible. Finely chop.

Place the spinach, parsley, garlic, ricotta, flour, eggs, cheese and a generous grating of nutmeg (or sprinkle some ground nutmeg) into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Use a fork to stir very thoroughly until everything is completely mixed. Using wet hands, form the mixture into walnut-size balls. Place on a large plate or tray and refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

Gnocchi ready to be chilled

When ready to cook, heat the oven to warm and bring a large pan of water to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and drop in batches of about 8-10 gnocchi at a time. They will sink to the bottom, and when they rise to the top give them about 1 min more, then remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve the gnocchi on warm plates drizzled with olive oil and scattered with rocket and more cheese. They go really well alongside a salad or two.

Original recipe from BBCGoodFood magazine, issue May 2010, available online here.