Fight the restaurant crowds this Valentine’s weekend if you choose, or have a cozy dinner for two at home that takes no time to prepare and is stunningly delicious and fresh. A bowl of spinach gnocchi, a glass of wine and thou……while listening to Miles Davis’s album & title song “My Funny Valentine”.
Gnocchi are usually small dumplings but my gnocchi are made with fresh spinach leaves and ricotta and are a little bit larger. Served in a pool of fresh marinara will no doubt pave the way for another year of love and romance. A good full-bodied red wine and freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano will seal the deal.
Fresh spinach leaves steamed, chopped and mixed with….
ricotta cheese, eggs, nutmeg…..
…parmesan, flour, salt & pepper….
…formed into gnocchi ready to be sauted…
….until lightly browned.
Treat yourself to the really good Parm for this dinner.
The simplest of red sauces using skillet roasted cherry tomatoes and herbs.
A good meal, Miles Davis and a glass or two of well-chosen wine…a deliciously romantic trio.
Peace and Love.
Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi and Roasted Tomato Marinara
Ingredients for Sauce:
- 2 cartons of cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- olive oil for skillet
- 1 cup organic chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Ingredients for Spinach Gnocchi:
- 1 to 1.5 lbs fresh spinach leaves, steamed, well-drained
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded or grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese + extra for serving
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil for cooking
Directions for the Sauce:
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add cherry tomatoes to the pan along with the garlic and shallots. Stir to coat with oil and turn heat to medium.
- Cook mixture until tomatoes collapse and juices are released which takes about 10-15 minutes. Stir every now and then.
- Add chicken broth, herbs, salt & pepper to skillet tossing well. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat to cool for 10 minutes.
- Process mixture in a food processor or blend in a blender just until smooth. Return sauce to pan over low heat, keeping warm while making gnocchi.
Directions for Gnocchi:
- Blend steamed, well-drained spinach and ricotta together in a mixing bowl.
- Add shredded Parmesan, eggs and nutmeg and blend well.
- Sprinkle flour and dry bread crumbs, salt and pepper over mixture. Blend well. Mixture will be somewhat wet.
- Form gnocchi into 1.5 inch balls and then roll gently to make them oblong. Dip your fingers into water as you work so it will be easy to form shapes. As you work place finished gnocchi on a sheet pan covered with parchment. You should have about 15 to 20 gnocchi.
- Brown gnocchi in batches in a non stick skillet over medium high heat that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Turn to lightly brown on all sides and cook inside. Place cooked gnocchi loosely covered in a warm oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
- To Serve: Portion hot tomato sauce into bowls and top with gnocchi and a generous amount of freshly grated Parmesan. Pour a glass or two of vino, light a few candles, turn on some Miles and enjoy!
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com