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In honor of Caputo Brothers’ ricotta being featured at Saturday’s Preakness, we thought we would share with you a new way to use your fresh ricotta – in gnocchi!  Ricotta gnocchi is a lighter version to the potato gnocchi found in northern Italy.

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Gnocchi verde di ricotta  (Green Ricotta Gnocchi)

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

2  pounds of fresh spinach

1.5  cups Caputo Brothers Creamery Ricotta

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

2 egg yolks, beaten

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. After washing the spinach, allow it to drain in a colander.  However, do not dry it completely as the residual water will help it to cook/wilt.
  2. Cook the spinach for a few minutes in a sauté pan with a little freshly ground black pepper.  Add a little water or vegetable stock (a couple of tablespoons) if needed to help wilt the spinach.
  3. Let cool for a few minutes, then drain the spinach, draining and squeezing out as much liquid as you can.  Finely chop the spinach and set aside.
  4. Once the spinach is cool, add the ricotta, ½ the Parmigiano Reggiano, the egg yolks, salt and pepper.   Fold the mixture together until well combined.
  5. Shape the “dough” into balls about the size of a large hard-boiled egg yolk.  While you are doing this, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  If you are shaping the gnocchi and cooking immediately, go ahead and drop them into the water a few at a time (no more than will take up the entire surface area of the pot in one layer).  If you are cooking later, dust each ball with flour and put on a sheet tray in one layer, and put in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  6. When cooking, they will only take a few minutes at most.  When they float, remove them gently with a slotted spatula or spoon.

To sauce and serve, we have a number of options.  Some choices are:

-Melt butter in a sauté pan with a few sage leaves.  When the butter just begins to brown a bit, pour the whole pan over top of the
gnocchi, finish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and enjoy immediately

-Prepare a simple, fresh tomato sauce.  When you remove the gnocchi from the water, transfer them to the saucepan and gently roll them in the sauce, or spoon the sauce over top for one minute.  Gently transfer to serving dishes and enjoy immediately.

-Or, prepare a hearty sugo, or rich meat sauce, and use the same approach as above.

Buon Appetito!