Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi with Mushroom Cream Sauce
Time to introduce our Dinner Group. For the past thirteen years we have been getting together with three other couples, for what we call Dinner Group. Over those many years we have done just about every theme imaginable. I need to start another blog just with those themes and recipes. The way our group works is you host the dinner three times a year. When you are the host, you pick the theme, make the main dish, side dish and provide bread, wine and a theme drink. Each of the other couples supply appetizers, soup or salad and dessert respectively. We are all good cooks and have grown over the years with our culinary skills. As I said we have done just about everything. From every country imaginable, survivor night, karaoke night; complete with a stage, iron chef night; where the ingredients were supplied, Lebanese night complete with a belly dancer. Some months are very elaborate some are just a bunch of friends getting together to enjoy good food. I will go into more detail in future post.
February’s dinner was at Matt and Krista’s house. The theme was UGLY food. The trick was to make ugly food that tastes great. We had black bean soup, porcupine meatballs, and crock-pot cake. I decided to make spinach and ricotta gnocchi with a mushroom cream sauce. This is very ugly, but tasted great. It is a fairly simple recipe modified from my ricotta gnocchi recipe. Ricotta gnocchi is much lighter than traditional potato gnocchi. This can be served as an appetizer, first course or a main dish.
Enjoy the ugliness!!!
- 1 cup fresh ricotta whole milk
- 1 package frozen spinach thawed and drained completely
- 1 1/2 cup Parmesan
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 6 tbsp flour ++
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 oz. prosciutto diced
- 1 lb assorted wild mushroom, stems trimmed, wiped clean, and thinly sliced
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 3 tbsp. Marsala wine or cream sherry
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
Bring 6 quarts salted water to boil.
Mix the ricotta, spinach, cheese, eggs, nutmeg and flour together. Mix on low in stand mixer.
Season with salt and pepper. Form teaspoons of mixture into short puffy cylinders.
Using floured hands, rolling dumplings into the flour to coat. Place the dumplings on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze while you make the sauce.
Mushroom cream sauce:
Saute shallots and prosciutto in the butter and olive oil. Add in mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir in thyme, salt, pepper, flour and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock, wine and cream and reduce down until the sauce thickens. Stir in nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste.Carefully boil dumplings for approximately 3-4 minutes,until they float to the top. Serve with sauce and top with Parmesan.
Cooks note: The Parmesan in the picture was colored brown with food coloring to add to the ugliness.