October: Gnocchi di Casentino

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Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi –

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi finish 3 with script

Buon giorno!

GNOCCHI DI CASENTINO are delicate and tender gnocchi from the Casentino Valley of Tuscany. They are very easy to make and are often found in a “ball” form unlike many other types that are formed by rolling in flour created a shell or cavatelli type shape. You can make them either way. They require very little cooking, as most gnocchi, and rise to the top of boiling water, ready to be plucked out in a matter of about 3 minutes.

Casentino? – The Casentino Valley in Tuscany also includes a beautiful mountain range. The mountains of this area have prevented much in the way of development and roads, thus leaving the area throughout history dating back to the Etruscans to its natural beauty. Because it was more difficult to access, it was left alone by conquerors. The result includes a gorgeous national park with all sorts of wildlife left to thrive undisturbed.

The typical sauce served with these gnocchi is a simple melted butter with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. A light tomato sauce – or Pommodoro Sauce is nice also.

This recipe makes plenty as the amount indicates, so they are the perfect candidate for FREEZING and saving for another meal. They can easily be made and frozen weeks ahead – only to be pulled out at the last minute from the freezer and dropped frozen into boiling salted water. This leaves you plenty of time to do other things to prepare for your meal – or just relax!

These are really heavenly! You will love them!



Makes enough for 2 servings for 4

Prep: about an hour

Cook: about 3-4 minutes


2 Cups Flour and 1/2 C. Flour separated

2 C. Whole Milk Ricotta

1 lb. Fresh Spinach

2 Large Eggs

Pinch Salt

1/2 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese or Grana Padano

1 Stick Butter

Grated Cheese to serve

Nutmeg grated to taste


Cook Spinach in  boiling water until tender – about 4-5 minutes. Drain it well and then after cooling a bit, press it between paper towels or a tea towel to get as much water out as possible. You want it to be very dry.

Now chop the spinach finely.

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi 1

To your food processor bowl place: 2 C. Flour, ricotta, eggs, salt, Parmigiano, and spinach. Give this mixture a few turns in the processor until it comes together. It will be sticky.

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi 2

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi 3

Turn the mixture out onto a floured board and pull together into a ball – while adding some or all of the remaining 1/2 C. Flour as needed.

Roll balls from this dough and place them in a single layer on a floured pan or surface.

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi 4

If freezing for later use – place them on a sheet pan in a single layer and freeze. When frozen, place them in a plastic bag and freeze. When ready to use – keep them frozen and add them to boiling water in thirds. Do NOT thaw! Cook 1/3 at a time in the boiling water, removing to your serving plate with a slotted spoon or Spider. Drain well.

This recipe makes plenty for 2 meals for 4 people.

When ready to serve, melt a stick of butter and pour over the gnocchi in a serving plate. Sprinkle with grated or shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano.

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi finish 1

Sprinkle with a little freshly ground nutmeg.


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