Gnocchi di Ricotta con Salsa di Asparigi

10:00 pm on 8 November 2003

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 800 gms spinach
  • 400 gms fresh ricotta cheese
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 gms white flour
  • 50 gms freshly grated parmigiano cheese plus extra for topping
  • salt to taste (I use a large pinch made with 3 fingers)
  • pinch of pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon (to taste)
  • 300 gms asparagus
  • 4 strands saffron or a pinch of dried powder
  • 50 gms butter
  • 6 leaves fresh sage or 1 tsp dried

Method

Wash and cook the spinach in boiling water for two minutes. Strain and squeeze out excess water before passing through a mouli or food processor.

Put in a bowl and mix with the ricotta, egg yolks, flour, parmigiano, salt and spices. Transfer the contents on to a lightly floured work surface.

Using your palms, roll into four long cylinders about the thickness of your index finger. Cut into 2 cm-long pieces (ie, gnocchi).

Wash and cut the asparagus into small pieces. Cook for two minutes in boiling water and strain, conserving some of the cooking liquid. Keep the tips apart to be used as a garnish.

In a dry frying pan lightly roast the saffron for 10 seconds.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the sage, asparagus and ¼ cup of cooking liquid. Add the saffron and cook gently for five minutes.

Boil four litres of water in a large pot. Add three tablespoons of salt or to taste. Add the gnocchi and cook for five minutes. Strain and cover with melted butter mixture. Cover with parmigiano and garnish with asparagus tips.

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