Spinach Gnocchi with Porcini Sauce

Italian Favorites, Pasta | January 30, 2016 | By

DSC02336Growing up Italian, Gnocchi was frequently served at our house. It was normally made with potatoes and served with marinara sauce. But on very special occasions, we had spinach Gnocchi with mushroom sauce and I thought it was heavenly! This is how I remember it, but I use Porcini mushrooms for the sauce in place of button mushrooms. You’ll love this recipe!

Ingredients:
Serves 6

  • 1/3 oz of dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 2 bags of fresh spinach
  • 1 1/4 cups of fresh Parmesan cheese (divided use)
  • 1 1/4 cups of flour (divided use)
  • 1 1/4 cups of Ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black or white pepper
  • 3 Tbs of butter
  • 2 1/2 cups of whole milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°

To start, cover the porcinis in very hot water and soak for 20 minutes, drain and chop in very small pieces. Butter a 9 x 13″ casserole dish.Then, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil, add the spinach and cook just until it wilts. Drain, and when it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze out all of the moisture and chop finely.In a large bowl, combine the spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of flour, ricotta, egg yolks, nutmeg and the salt & pepper. Stir until the dough holds together.To make the porcini sauce, add the butter to a medium saucepan, over medium heat, when melted, sprinkle in 1/4 cup of flour and stir. Slowly add in the milk, bring to a boil, stir continuously until thickened. Remove from the heat and add the chopped mushrooms.  Add salt to taste.Time to roll out the gnocchi, flour your work surface and working in 4 batches with well floured hands, place 1/4 of the dough on the floured surface and using your hands, roll the dough into a long, narrow rope. Cut into 1 1/4 inch pieces and shape into little rectangular pillows with your fingers. You will use all of the remaining flour during this rolling process, keep your hands and your surface well floured. Keep rolling and cutting until you use all of the dough.To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the gnocchi, about 10 at a time to the pot, they will rise to the top when done, then just remove them with a spider or a slotted spoon, drain briefly on a paper towel, then place them in the buttered casserole dish, continue until all are cooked and placed in the casserole dish, arrange so that they are very snug and in a single layer. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until bubbly. Ready to serve! Just spoon the gnocchi onto plates and sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese. Crack open the wine! This is guaranteed to bring a smile to anyone’s face!

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