By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Apr 26, 2020 at 2:32 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

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Welcome to Quarantine Kitchen, a cooking show focused on easy recipes and tips you can execute in your home kitchen using basic ingredients and pantry staples. The show airs live on Facebook every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Tune in by heading to the OnMilwaukee Facebook page.  You can access past recipes and shows using this link.

This week, I’ll be showing you how to make ricotta gnocchi with garlicky spinach. The gnocchi itself is a truly versatile recipe that lends itself to a wide variety of sauces and accompaniments, so it’s something you can truly make your own (for instance, the version pictured above was made with fresh spring ingredients including sauteed morel mushrooms, asparagus and peas). But you can serve the gnocchi with marinara sauce, tossed in browned butter or topped with fresh chopped tomatoes, basil and a sprinkling of parmesan.

If you'd like to cook along, you'll find a list of necessary ingredients below.


Ricotta gnocchi with garlicky spinach

Serves 4 

For the gnocchi

16 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained overnight in fridge
3/4 to 1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Transfer the ricotta into a large bowl. Add the egg and stir to incorporate thoroughly. Then add 3/4 cup of the flour, Parmesan or Pecorino, and 1 teaspoon of the salt, and stir until well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for approximately 15 minutes to allow it to firm up.
  2. During this time, you can prepare your spinach. Also put a large pot of water onto the stove and allow it to come to a boil.
  3. Check the dough by rolling a bit in your hand. It should be tacky, but somewhat workable. If it clings to your fingers like bubble gum, follow the instructions in the video – OR – (if you'd prefer) incorporate more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a tacky-yet-workable consistency. If you add more flour, be sure to refrigerate for 15 minutes more.
  4. Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with flour and set it close to your work space.
  5. Sprinkle your hands and work surface with a little flour. Break off a tennis-ball sized piece of the dough and roll it into a thick log about 3/4-inch thick.
  6. Cut the log crosswise into 3/4" pieces. Transfer this batch to the baking sheet and toss with flour to prevent sticking. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining dough.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt to the water along with about half of the gnocchi. Gently stir the gnocchi to make sure they don't stick. Once they bob to the surface, let cook for 2 minutes more. Remove using a slotted spoon. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.

For the garlicky spinach

1 lb frozen spinach, thawed and drained
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T butter
Parmesan cheese (or even blue cheese)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, just until it has softened. Do not allow it to brown. Add the red pepper flakes
  2. Add thawed, drained spinach spinach to the pan and toss to combine with the garlic butter mixture.
  3. Cook just until heated through.
  4. Top with gnocchi, sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese and serve. (If blue cheese sounds good to you, sprinkle over the top of the gnocchi and spinach and place under the broiler for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted).
Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.