SPINACH AND RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH SMOKEY TOMATO SAUCE AND LEMON

(Serves 4)

GNOCCHI:

400 g   ricotta (I used half normal ricotta and half smooth ricotta – Woolworths brand)

50 g     grated parmesan cheese

160 g   flour

3          eggs

zest of 1 lemon

5 ml     salt

black pepper

200 g   baby spinach, wilted in boiling water and drained very well

SAUCE:

1 kg     roma tomatoes, halved

30 ml   olive oil

salt and black pepper

5 ml     sugar

fresh herbs to taste

TO SERVE:

50 g     butter

15 ml   lemon juice

15 ml   olive oil

200 g   baby tomatoes, halved and seasoned

Parmesan shavings for serving

Basil for serving

METHOD:

  • Mix the ricotta and parmesan in a large bowl
  • Chop the wilted, drained spinach and add.
  • Add the flour, eggs, zest, salt and pepper and mix until combined to a dough
  • Divide the dough in four and roll out each piece on a floured surface to a 3cm wide log
  • Slice into 2cm wide pieces and set aside on a floured tray (you can make this a day before or a few hours before using.  Keep it covered)
  • Heat the grill of your oven on maximum.
  • Place the tomatoes on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Place under the grill until the skins have blackened/charred.
  • Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl and crush with a fork or use a blender. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and add the sugar.  You can add some herbs eg chopped basil or thyme (optional)
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the gnocchi in 2 batches until risen to the surface and cooked through.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add half of the cooked gnocchi. Fry on both sides for about 2 minutes until golden and crisp.  Repeat with the rest of the gnocchi.
  • Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the frying pan to deglaze the pan and pour this over the gnocchi
  • Spoon into 4 warm serving bowls and add some baby tomatoes
  • Top with parmesan shavings and serve with the sauce on the side
  • Garnish with fresh basil
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