Gennaro Contaldo’s Sublime Gnocchi Di Spinaci

By Gennaro Contaldo
This classic combination of spinach and ricotta is simple to prepare. Photo / David Loftus.

A sensational iteration of spinach gnocchi from the man Jamie Oliver calls “the don of Italian cooking”, this recipe from Gennaro Contaldo is surprisingly easy to throw together.

This delicious potato-less gnocchi is made with the classic combination of spinach and ricotta. Simple to prepare, just remember to squeeze out the excess liquid from the cooked spinach before mixing with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with tomato sauce for a hearty meal.


Serves 4
250g frozen spinach

250g tub ricotta

1 egg

40g grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling

Pinch of grated nutmeg

Sea salt

250g ‘00′ flour, plus extra for dusting
For the tomato sauce

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes

Sea salt
  1. First make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat and sweat the garlic for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes with a little water (rinsed from the can) and a little salt. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium-low heat for about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the gnocchi. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the frozen spinach for about 5 minutes until defrosted and cooked through. Drain well, squeezing out the excess liquid with your hands, then place on a chopping board and finely chop.
  3. Place the spinach in a large bowl with the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, nutmeg and a little salt, and gradually add in the flour. Mix well until you obtain a smooth, soft dough.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a long sausage shape. Using a sharp knife, cut into 2.5cm lengths. Continue doing this until all the dough has been used up.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and drop the gnocchi into the water in batches, simmering for a minute or so until they rise to the top.
  6. Using a slotted spoon or a spider strainer, lift the gnocchi out of the water and transfer to a dish. Pour over the tomato sauce and gently mix. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan, if you like.

Recipe from Gennaro’s Verdure: Big and bold recipes to pack your plate with vege by Gennaro Contaldo, $50, published by Pavilion Books.

More Gennaro Contaldo

More from the renowned Italian chef.

Boozy baked chicken with peppers. This is a really simple dish to prepare: put all your ingredients in a roasting dish and pop in the oven to do the rest.

Classic spaghetti carbonara recipe. Try this classic spaghetti carbonara recipe from The Pasta Book by Gennaro Contaldo.

Easy Italian with gennaro contaldo. Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo started his career in the kitchen when he was 10. He’s still boiling, frying and simmering 55 years later.

Share this article: