Spinach Gnocchi With Shaved Ricotta Salata and Brown Butter
- Spinach - 2 1/2 lbs, stems removed
- Eggs - 1 large
- All Purpose Flour - ½ cup tip, plus more for dusting
- Bread Crumbs - ½ cup, plain dry
- Grana padano cheese - ½ cup, grated
- Nutmeg - ¼ teaspoon, freshly grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Unsalted Butter - 6 tablespoons
- Parmesan Cheese - ¼ cup, grated
- Ricotta salata cheese - ¼-pound piece
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the spinach (in batches if necessary), and blanch for 3 to 4 minutes. The ribs must be soft enough to puree until smooth or the gnocchi will taste stringy. Transfer the spinach to an ice-water bath until cold, and reserve ½ cup of the blanching liquid.
Remove the spinach from the ice water, squeeze to remove and excess moisture, and place in a food processor. Process for a full 5 minutes, or until very smooth, adding up to ½ cup of the blanching liquid if necessary to create a smooth mixture. The consistency of the spinach should be very mushy, like a wet batter. Transfer the pureed spinach to a medium-mesh sieve over a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 18 hours to drain off excess moisture.
Place the drained spinach in a bowl and, using your hands, mix in the egg, flour, bread crumbs, grana padano, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. The mixture should remain wet enough to be squeezed through a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a sheet pan or large roasting pan with flour to a depth of about ½ inch. Spoon the spinach mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip (or use a zippered plastic bag and cut off a lower corner). Pipe spinach balls about ¾ inch in diameter onto the flour. Gently roll the balls around in the flour until evenly dusted. Shake off the excess flour from the balls, drop them into the boiling water (in batches to avoid overcrowding if necessary), and cook for about 2 minutes, or until just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to a warmed serving plate.
Put the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and brown it for 2 to 4 minutes or until it is the color of hazelnuts. Watch carefully so that it doesn’t burn.
Sprinkle the gnocchi with Parmesan and shave or shred the riccota salata on top. Pour on the brown butter.
The gnocchi mixture can be refrigerated in the pastry bag for up to 2 days.