Katrina’s baby spinach gnocchi are a beautiful shade of green, flavoured with herbs and nutmeg, then layered in a dish with the delicious additions of cream, parmesan and blue cheese.
Katrina learned to make pasta from her husband’s family, who come from northern Italy not far from Austria as the crow flies. She uses a spatzle maker for the gnocchetti, as Austrian and German cooks do. A spatzle maker looks like a grater with a sliding square cup attached to the top. The dough goes into the cup, which is slid back and forth to push the dough through the holes of the grater into a pot of boiling water. You can also use a potato ricer (for smaller gnocchetti) or even a piping bag with a small nozzle, and swirl the bag over the water. Serve this with a radicchio salad and some crusty bread.
- 500 g spinach
- 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
- ⅔ cup plain flour
- ⅔ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 150 ml cream
- 100 g parmesan, shaved or grated
- 100 g sharp blue-vein cheese, roughly chopped
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.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the spinach for 3 minutes. Drain and leave to cool, then squeeze out the excess moisture (you should be left with approximately 400 g of spinach).
Put the spinach in a food processor and process until mushy. Add the herbs and process for another 30 seconds, then add the eggs and egg yolks and process briefly.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the flour, nutmeg, pepper and salt to make a dough with a gooey consistency. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Rub half the spinach dough through a spatzle maker into the pot. Simmer the gnocchetti for 5 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon into a colander. Leave to drain for a minute before transferring to a serving dish. Pour over half the cream and scatter with half of the cheeses. Repeat with the remaining dough, topping with the remaining cream and cheeses.
Lightly mix with a spoon and serve immediately.