Spinach Gnocchi with Almond Butter Sauce
by Tarla Dalal
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Gnocchi are almost easier to make than to pronounce "n-yoki". The word means "lumps" because of the irregular, somewhat craggy shapes these dumplings have. Gnocchi are boiled in the same fashion as pasta is and are served generally with a cream based sauce. Spinach and cottage cheese gnocchi served in a toasted almond and butter sauce makes an outstanding first course. Alternatively, try gnocchi as a rich and creamy side dish. Make sure you drain out all the water from the spinach before you make the gnocchi. Test one gnocchi by boiling it in water. If it crumbles, add some more flour to the mixture. Always make the gnocchi the day you are going to serve them, because they will discolour if left overnight. Also prepare the sauce just before you are ready to eat!
- Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in ice-cold water. Drain again and squeeze out all the water.
- Chop the spinach finely.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to form a soft dough.
- Divide the gnocchi into approximately 30 equal sized balls.
- Press each one gently to flatten them using a fork.
- Boil plenty of water in a broad pan and add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil to it.
- When the water is boiling, add the gnocchi a few pieces at a time and allow them to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Carefully remove the gnocchi from the boiling water, using a slotted spoon. Keep aside.
- Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the almonds till they are lightly toasted.
- Season with pepper and keep aside.
- Just before serving, toss the gnocchi in the almond butter sauce and mix well.
- Serve immediately.
- While cooking the gnocchi boil one first to see that it does not crumble in the water. If it does, add some more flour.
- If you want the gnocchi to be a little spicy, add 1 to 2 finely chopped green chillies.
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