by Nancy Caivano
Serves 6 (serves 8-10 as an appetizer)
1-1/2 lbs russet potatoes
2 (10-oz) packages ready-to-use spinach leaves, stemmed
2 small eggs, beaten to blend
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups (about) all purpose flour
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup butter
8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
Steam potatoes until very tender, about 35 minutes. Cool potatoes slightly and peel. Mash potatoes in large bowl until smooth. Set aside. Meanwhile, bring about 2 inches of salted water to boil in large pot. Add spinach leaves to pot and cook until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Drain spinach, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from spinach. purée spinach in processor, adding reserved cooking liquid 1 tbsp. at a time if necessary to help purée, scraping down sides of processor bowl occasionally. Transfer spinach mixture to bowl with potatoes. Mix in egg, nutmeg and enough flour until soft and slightly sticky dough forms. Season dough to taste with salt.
Dust baking sheet with flour. Working in batches and using floured hands, roll 1/4 cup dough on lightly floured work surface to form 12" rope. Cut rope into 1" pieces. Roll each piece between palms to form oval ball. Lightly flour the wires of a whisk. Using thumb, gently roll each ball down length of wires, making ribbed impressions in gnocchi. Transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheet. Repeat rolling, cutting and shaping of remaining dough.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 13x9-inch baking dish.
Working in batches, add gnocchi to large pot of boiling salted water and cook until gnocchi rise to surface of water, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove gnocchi from water, draining off excess, and transfer to a strainer. Heat 1/4 cup butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When melted, sizzling and just beginning to brown, add gnocchi and cook about 5 minutes or until browned on one side. Toss gnocchi to brown on other side, about 3 minutes more. Empty contents of skillet into prepared baking dish. Top with Fontina cheese slices. Bake until gnocchi are heated through and cheese bubbles, about 10 minutes.
You can prepare and poach the gnocchi ahead of time. After poaching, place gnocchi on a plastic-wrap coated baking sheet. Let cool about 15 minutes, then cover very well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one day. If you want to freeze them, poach them and place the gnocchi in a SINGLE layer, not touching, on a plastic coated baking sheet. Let cool as above and cover very well with plastic wrap. Freeze. When frozen, place gnocchi in a zip-top plastic bag and use as many as you like. Let gnocchi defrost and sauté or poach again frozen and serve with your favorite sauce.
Copyright © 2001, Nancy Caivano. All rights reserved.
This page created November 2001
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