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"To cook is to
create. And to create well...
is an act of ingenuity, and faith."
Beard's Gnocchi Verdi
"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart,
who looks at her watch."
~ James Beard
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La Belle Cuisine
Beard on Pasta
by James Beard, 1983, Alfred A. Knopf
are sometimes called malfatti, which means ‘badly made’, because
are so delicate that when they are cooked they are quite uneven in
You have to skim them out of the water very, very carefully because
their fragility, but they will repay the care: they just melt on your
tongue when you eat them.”
ounces cooked spinach, drained and chopped
(approximately 1 pound fresh
two 1-ounce packages frozen spinach)
ground black pepper
ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
cup [1 stick] butter, melted
cup grated Parmesan cheese
the spinach in a saucepan with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, butter, and
ricotta. Stir it over low heat for about 5 minutes to dry it out. Remove
from the heat and beat in the eggs, 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan, and the flour.
Set the mixture aside to cool for 2 hours.
a wooden board and your hands with flour. Pull off walnut-sized
the spinach mixture, and form croquettes the shape of a cork.
Roll them in
the flour and, when they are all ready, drop them carefully
into a large
pot of very gently simmering water. Don’t let the water boil,
action may cause the gnocchi to disintegrate. If the mixture seems
soft, don’t worry, because the eggs and flour will hold the gnocchi
together when they come into contact with the simmering water.
the gnocchi rise to the surface of the water, they are finished cook-
Skim them off with a slotted spoon, drain them well, and place them
ovenproof baking dish lightly coated with butter. Pour the melted
butter over them, sprinkle with the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and heat
in a 350-degree
[F.] oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
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