Tuesday, January 24, 2006

..and the gnocchi was delicious in spite of my efforts...

At the weekend I gave the spinach and kumara gnocchi recipe a try (I've typed it below in case you want to try it yourself), so I sent the boy to the supermarket for spinach, kumara (that's New Zealand's sweet potato, to you non-Kiwis), flour, Parmesan cheese and butter - actually, the only ingredients we already had in the kitchen was the salt and pepper.

I ran into trouble right at the beginning; the recipe says I need two medium kumara. How big is medium anyway? Then I realised that I also needed 3 egg yolks; I'm allergic to eggs so I couldn't use 'em, but I had no idea what to substitute for them. So I did what I usually do in such a situation - if I don't know what it's for, just leave it out (which probably explains why I gave up cooking for other people years ago).

In the end though, despite the fact that I completely ommitted 3 egg yolks, used way too much kumara and had to add lots of extra flour, forgot to chop the cooked spinach until after I'd tried to mash it into the kumara, and put all of the grated Parmesan cheese into the mixture instead of only using one third and sprinkling the rest over the top before putting the whole lot into the oven), I produced some pretty tasty gnocchi.

Here's the recipe if you're curious; it's from NZ Woman's Weekly Easy as 1 2 3 by Robyn Martin:

Spinach and Kumara Gnocchi
(serves 4, or two brave people)
350g fresh spinach
2 medium kumara
250g tub ricotta cheese
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup flour
3/4 coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
freshley ground black pepper
1/2 teasp salt
50g butter

Wash and cook the spinach in a saucepan, drain and cool. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible then chop finely.
Peel the kumara, cut into pieces and cook in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain and mash.
Stir in the spinach, along with the ricotta cheese, egg yolks, flour, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, pepper and salt.
Shape tablespoonfuls of the misture into egg shapes and roll them in flour.
Bring a large saucepand of salted water to a simmer. Add the gnocchi and cook for 2 mins or until they lift off the bottom of the pan. Remove them from the water.
Place the gnocchi into a greased, ovenproof dish.
Melt the butter and pour over.
Top with the rest of the cheese.
Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes.
Serve with tomato pasta sauce (I used shop-bought sauce).


darth said...

that sounds delicious! i've made potato gnocchi, and i don't think it called for eggs at all, so you probably didn't miss anything by omitting them.

and mmmmmm..on the ricotta cheese-that must make them light and fluffy..i might try this with a brown butter sauce, thanks for the recipe!

The Skirt said...


BTW you can get egg substitutes at most supermarkets now - near the packet mixes in the baking aisle as I remember. We eat so few eggs that we never have them on hand, and Ive found the substitute pretty good.

Violet said...

darth: I just found a recipe for potato gnocchi which calls for neither eggs nor ricotta cheese. I suppose the spinach and kumara gnocchi must be special...

the skirt: Perhaps next time I use this recipe I'll look out for the egg substitutes (and use smaller kumara!)

Avery's mom said...

not a fan of ricotta but now I know if I want a yam in your part of the world its a kumara lol

Violet said...

avery's mom: I've seen yams here in the supermarket - they're small, lumpy and yellowish. What do you call those in the States?

The Skirt said...

i think yams are quite different from kumara. There are several varieties of yams available in NZ but they're all yams. Kumara are bigger and don't have that smooth skin - a sweet potato is much closer.

onanymous said...

It does sound delicious!

For some reason I thought that gnocchi were always made with potatoes. I guess sweet potatoes are a good substitute though.

We usually combine the gnocchi with a cheese and smoked chicken sauce - absolutely devine.
And one of the easiest meals to throw together.

Violet said...

onanymous: gnocchi normally are made from potatos, but the kumara version is very slightly sweet. There's quite a lot of cheese in this recipe, so if you like cheese you'll like these (hey that rhymed!).

glomgold said...

That recipe looks incredibly tasty!