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On northern Italian trattoria tables during winter, you’ll frequently find these little dumplings served as a warming, satisfying first course. For the lightest gnocchi, use yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold or Finnish Yellow; white-fleshed potatoes produce denser, but no less delicious, results.
- For the Gnocchi:
- 1 1/4 pound fresh spinach, stems removed, or 1 package thawed, frozen-leaf spinach
- 26 ounces yellow- or white-fleshed potatoes, unpeeled, cut into large pieces
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup flour for dusting
- 1 extra-large egg
- For the Sauce:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 ounces sweet Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons fruity Italian white wine
- 1 teaspoon Cognac or other brandy, optional
- Ground white pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
FOR THE GNOCCHI: If using fresh spinach, place the spinach on a steamer rack over (not touching) boiling water. Cover and steam until wilted and tender, approximately 3-4 minutes. Transfer the steamer rack holding the spinach to a sink to drain and let cool.
Gather the cooled or thawed frozen spinach into a ball using your hands. Squeeze out any excess moisture.
Purée the spinach until smooth in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Transfer to paper towels. Squeeze to remove any remaining moisture. Set aside.
Place the potatoes on a steamer rack over (not touching) boiling water. Cover and steam until tender, approximately 8-10 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the steamer rack. Peel the potatoes while still hot. Pass potatoes through a ricer onto a clean work surface, forming a broad, low mound. Sprinkle the 2 1/2 cups flour on top and quickly and gently "fluff" the potato and flour together with your fingertips.
Place the puréed spinach on top and, using a fork or your fingertips, begin to work it into the potato and flour mixture to form a dough. Place the egg on top and lightly mix it in. Press together and knead just until a dough forms.
Scrape the work surface clean and sprinkle a little more flour on it. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Cover 5 of the portions with a kitchen towel to prevent drying. Form the 6th portion into a log 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut crosswise into pieces 3/4 inch wide. If the pieces are sticky, lightly coat them with some of the remaining flour.
Repeat with the remaining 5 portions.
Fill a deep pot 3/4 full with salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the gnocchi all at once. Gently stir to prevent the gnocchi from sticking together. Boil until just cooked through, approximately 12-15 minutes.
FOR THE SAUCE:
In a frying pan over high heat, bring the cream to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cheese and reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the wine and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the brandy, if using. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.
Drain the gnocchi and immediately add them to the sauce. Toss well to coat. Spoon onto warmed individual plates and serve immediately.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
476 calories; 26g total fat; 120mg cholesterol; 165mg sodium; 51g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 12g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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