Pic of Spinach and ricotta gnocchi

Spinach and ricotta gnocchi

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Vegetarian mains

Spinach and ricotta gnocchi

Serves 2 1h
Gnocchi made with ricotta, flour, egg and spinach is known as 'malfatti' - which broadly translates as 'badly formed'! You want the gnocchi dough to be quite firm, so add just half the egg to begin with. It is shaped, using 2 spoons, into walnut-size ovals; you want to aim for about 10 gnocchi.


  • 200g spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 125g ricotta
  • 20g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 40g Italian-style hard cheese
  • 50g polenta
  • 50g whole toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 50g mixed salad leaves
  • 25g butter
  • ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
Image of Spinach and ricotta gnocchi


Prep time: 45 min
Cooking time: 15 min
  • Step 1

    Gently wilt the spinach for approx. 2-3 mins. Drain. Squeeze out excess water. Roughly chop.
  • Step 2

    In a mug, crack and break up the egg with a fork. Weigh out 30g of the egg into another mug.
  • Step 3

    In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, flour and nutmeg - it will look like lumpy breadcrumbs. Stir in the spinach, Italian-style cheese and the egg. Season. Mix it well with your hands, so the spinach and ricotta is evenly distributed.
  • Step 4

    Scatter a thin layer of the polenta onto a tray (keep some back). Using approx. 1 tbsp of the ricotta mix at a time, use 2 spoons (or hands) to shape it into ovals.
  • Step 5

    Place them on the tray and sprinkle over the remaining polenta. Gently shake the tray to coat them. Put in the fridge for 20 mins to firm up.
  • Step 6

    Meanwhile, refill the large pan with salted water and bring to a low boil. Put the salad leaves in another bowl, with the radishes, carrots and ½ the nuts.
  • Step 7

    Using a slotted spoon, lower the gnocchi into the pan of barely bubbling water. Boil for 1-2 mins, until they float to the surface. Scoop out onto a plate. Roll them gently over a piece of kitchen paper to dry.
  • Step 8

    Melt the butter in a large frying pan. When it starts to foam, fry the gnocchi for 2-3 mins on each side until golden. Add the remaining nuts when you turn the gnocchi over. Toss the salad with a little olive oil and a splash of vinegar to taste. Serve with the gnocchi.

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