Baked Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes

, from Issue #93. October, 2020
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Baked Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes

These ricotta gnocchi are made in a simple mix-together process. The balsamic vinegar adds a lovely depth of flavour to the sauce.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

Gnocchi
300 grams baby spinach
400 grams firm ricotta
2 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted and roughly chopped
½ cup grated parmesan
2 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
sea salt and ground pepper

Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 x 400-gram tins cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To top
1 ball fresh mozzarella, drained and ripped
parmesan for grating

METHOD

Equipment: A large ovenproof baking dish or sauté pan.

Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Gnocchi: Put the spinach in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water, turning to wilt. Drain well then spread over a clean tea towel, roll up and squeeze out all the excess water. It’s important the spinach is dry or the gnocchi will fall apart. Chop finely and place in a large bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients, season and combine well. Refrigerate until ready
to assemble.

Sauce: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and stir for a few seconds then add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes.

Tip the sauce into the baking dish. Scoop golf ball-sized spoons of the gnocchi mixture into your hand and gently squeeze together into a rough shape. Nestle into the tomatoes then dot over the ripped mozzarella and top with a generous grating of parmesan. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and bubbling.