Featured as part of our Cooks and their Books series, this recipe comes courtesy of Manuela Darling-Gansser, inveterate traveller and passionate amateur cook.

Make your own gnocchi from scratch with this quick and easy recipe, using ricotta instead of potato. Get the kids to help you roll out the balls and you never know - they might actually eat some spinach!






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (30 votes)


  • 1.2 kg (2½ lb) frozen spinach
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) ricotta
  • 2 organic egg yolks
  • 2 cups grated parmigiano plus extra 1 cup for table
  • salt and pepper
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting nudi
  • fresh sage leaves
  • 100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Squeeze all the water out of the spinach. Add to ricotta, egg yolks, parmigiano, salt and pepper and mix very well.

Take about 1 tablespoon of this mixture at a time and roll into little balls, dusting with flour. Boil some salted water, and drop about 10 balls at a time into the water. As soon as they float to the surface, they are ready (about 1 minute). With a small sieve, fish them out and put them on a heated serving dish, one next to the other.

Put a generous sprinkling of parmigiano over the nudi.

Melt butter with sage, when it foams pour it over nudi, then serve immediately.

Recipe from Under The Olive Tree by Manuela Darling-Gansser, with photographs by Simon Griffiths. Published by Hardie Grant Books.