Spinach gnocchi with sage

These are lovely green gnocchi that can also be made with the green part of Swiss chard leaves, any bolted lettuces or chicories, and also with nettles. I usually freeze in little containers the surplus cooked purée of any of the above.


Serves 4, makes about 20 gnocchi


Oven 190º C, 375º F, gas mark 5

Bake the potatoes then peel and grate them, please don't blend them or else you will end up with the wrong texture. Clean and remove stalks from your spinach, then steam it for a few minutes. Squeeze all the water out of it as much as you possibly can. Purée it or chop it very fine by hand. Add to the grated potatoes together with the flour and the seasonings and mix really well, finally add the beaten egg.

Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to the boil.

On a floured work surface roll out walnut sized lumps and when the water is boiling poach them, perhaps in two batches. Wait for them to come up to the surface and drain them on a colander. Transfer to a nice oven to table dish, drizzle with the olive oil and tuck in few sage leaves. Pour over the Parmesan and bake in a hot oven or under the grill, until nicely golden.

Serve while hot.

There are many other ways of serving these appetizing gnocchi one of them is to omit the sage and use tomato sauce instead. Generous dollops of pesto before baking also go very well.

Delia Smith recommends pressing the gnocchi with a fork before poaching, this way the sauce penetrates better.

Maria Fremlin, 07 March 2000

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