≡ Menu ≡ Menu

Spinach Uglies-Spinach Gnocchi

A Recipe Made With Home Grown Spinach


Spinach Uglies

The name of this dish definitely does not match the taste.  It is not a very attractive looking dish but it is light, fresh, tangy and extremely moreish. I originally tried a Stephanie Alexander recipe for Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi.  It was delicious.  I have progressively changed the recipe until it has evolved to this version.  Unlike my version, I am sure her version looked as beautiful and special as it tasted. I urge you to give this recipe a try as it is truly delicious.  It makes a  lovely summer dinner.

Here is how I make them:

  • Serves: 4-6 people
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Wait time in the preparation: 6 hours (they can be prepared the day prior)
  • Cook time: 8 minutes


  • 500 gms low fat ricotta cheese
  • 300 gms of cooked and well drained spinach leaves with stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese plus extra to serve
  • freshly ground pepper and salt
  • Rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • A small sprig of rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of freshly chopped lemon thyme leaves
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 3/4 cup of “oo” flour
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 70 gms butter
  • bunch of fresh lemon thyme leave (for sauce)


  1. Drain the Ricotta by putting paper towel in the bottom of a colander and let it sit for a few hours.  Place a bowl underneath to catch any moisture.
  2. Wash the spinach and remove the stems.  Cook in boiling water for two minutes, remove and drain well
  3. Chop the spinach when well drained. Cool and place into a mixing bowl
  4. Add the cheese, lemon zest, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, eggs, flour to the spinach and mix well to combine.  
  5. Put the mixture into the fridge for 3-4 hours
  6. Remove from the fridge and heavily dust a  board or the bench with flour.  Roll out handfuls of the mixture into a sausage shape and cut into small cubes about 1cm in length. Dust with extra flour and lay out on a board or tray covered with baking paper. This is important to prevent sticking. 
  7. If you are not going to cook immediately they can be put back in the fridge until you are ready.  Ensure they are well covered with flour and not touching each other to avoid ending up as a sticky mess.
  8. Set a couple of large pots to boil and add some gnocchi to each pot when boiling.  They are ready when they float to the top.
  9. Warm a pan and add the butter, garlic and bunch of lemon thyme.  Heat until butter melts and the herbs are fragrant.  Pour over the gnocchi and then drizzle the lemon juice over the top, stir the sauce through the pasta.  Top with a generous amount of shaved Parmesan cheese and cracked pepper to serve. 


  • Note: The mix is sticky  
  • Add extra flour as required.  The mix should not be so sticky that it is not workable when you are rolling and cutting the shapes.
  • Keep the board generously covered in flour
  • You can place the cut up gnocchi in layers on a tray before placing in the fridge if you use baking paper between each layer and a decent amount of flour to prevent sticking
  • Do not add too many gnocchi to the pot of boiling water at one time as they will stick together
  • Remove each batch of cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place in a large serving bowl in the oven (set to a low heat to keep warm) until all are cooked 
  • Be generous with the lemon juice, parmesan and pepper to give a well rounded fresh flavor
  • This dish is absolutely worth the waiting time between the processes.  When I make it I usually start it first thing in the morning so that I have the day to let it sit and be ready in time for dinner.  
  • Each step before the sitting stage is quick and simple, it is juts the duration of sitting time that needs to be allowed for. In saying that, I have not tried to make it without letting it sit.  I will do that next time and update this post if it makes no difference to the end product!

Gnocchi shapes














A Fresh Legacy

Share this post: Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest
Join me here: Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrssinstagram

Get a weekly delivery of Fresh content straight to your in-box.

{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Grace December 21, 2011, 12:54 pm

    You know, I have a theory that the ugliest looking dishes are usually the most appetizing ! This one in particular ! 🙂

    • Kyrstie December 21, 2011, 5:19 pm

      Love your theory Grace! Thanks for reading. K

Leave a Comment