Friday, March 8, 2013

Potato-less Spinach Gnocchi (with quinoa flour)

I've been doing this thing where I want to cook random amazing sounding food from whatever is in my refrigerator. It sounds like a good plan right? Be more creative in the kitchen by forcing yourself to use what you have? Well, for me this often means...Oo! Let's bake a pie or brownies or cupcakes and eat all of them in one sitting and not be able to stand up ever again! Yeah...I really need to stop doing that. So I feel a little better about myself for coming up with this one because there's spinach and egg and ricotta and quinoa flour, and those things are healthy, right? There's no sugar in this recipe. Although I did smother it in a creamy white sauce...

Ingredients (makes about 24 gnocchi)
-about 5-6 cups of fresh spinach
-1 cup fresh ricotta
-1 egg
-1 tablespoon melted butter
-parmesan or italian cheese mix (about 1/4 cup)
-salt, pepper (to taste)
-a dash of nutmeg
-3-4 tablespoons of quinoa flour

For the white sauce:
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 tablespoon quinoa flour
-1 cup milk
-1 tablespoon creme fraiche or sour cream
-2 tablespoons parmesan
-salt, pepper (to taste)

Heat about a tablespoon of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add spinach and cook till wilted. Squeeze spinach to drain water and chop finely.

In a bowl whisk the egg lightly. Add ricotta, spinach, cheese, butter, and nutmeg. Mix until incorporated. Salt and pepper to taste. Sift in the quinoa flour and mix just until any flour streaks disappear (don't overmix). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for a couple hours or overnight.

Fill a medium saucepan with water (about 3 inches) and bring to a simmer. To form the gnocchi shape, use two spoons. Scoop about half a spoon's worth of the dough with one spoon. Then, scrap this dough onto the other spoon to create the shape and then use the other spoon to gently push the gnocchi into the water. Cook about 6 gnocchi at a time for about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

For the white sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the butter completely. Whisk in the quinoa flour and cook until golden brown and smells like pie crust. Add the milk and whisk until the sauce thickens and starts to bubble. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the creme fraiche, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Do not let the mixture boil if you let it sit on the heat or else it will curdle and separate. Serve over the cooked gnocchi.

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