Spinach gnocchi recipe with peas, zucchini, goat's curd and tarragon

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's spring spinach gnocchi.
Neil Perry's spring spinach gnocchi. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Vegetarian

This type of ricotta gnocchi is easy to make and, once you have done it, will be a regular on the dinner table. It's really versatile so, as well as this wonderful garnish, it is terrific with burnt butter, crisp sage and parmesan. You can speed up the sauce-making by using frozen peas and it's quite nice just with peas, although zucchini does lend another taste and texture. Use whatever herbs are around.

Ingredients

200g peas in their pods

75g clarified butter

2 small zucchini, sliced

½ tbsp chopped tarragon leaves

½ tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

120g grape tomatoes, halved

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

200g goat's curd

extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

Spinach gnocchi

65g baby spinach leaves, washed

300g full-fat ricotta

50g parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 small egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp sea salt

freshly ground white pepper, to taste

½ cup tipo "00" flour, sifted, plus extra to dust

Method

1. For the gnocchi, place the spinach in a bowl. Cover with boiling water, leave for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh in iced water. Drain again and squeeze firmly to remove excess water. Finely chop the spinach and combine in a bowl with the ricotta, parmesan, egg and seasoning. Gradually add the flour and stir to form a mixture the consistency of thick mashed potato. You may not need all the flour. 

2. On a generously floured work surface and with floured hands, roll a quarter of the mixture into a two-centimetre-wide log, about 40 centimetres long. Cut into two-centimetre lengths with a floured knife. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

3. Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer and cook the gnocchi, in batches, for 1½ minutes or until they float. Using a slotted spoon, remove and reserve the gnocchi as well as some of the cooking water.

4. Pod the peas. Heat half the clarified butter in a large frying pan over a very high heat and saute the zucchini until it is golden but still and holding its shape. Reserve to one side. Set aside.

5. Heat the remaining butter on a medium heat. Place the peas into the pan along with a pinch of salt and a little of the pasta gnocchi cooking water. Simmer until they are softened, about two to three minutes. Return the gnocchi and zucchini to the pan along with the herbs, tomatoes and a good grind of pepper. Warm through for a minute or so.

6. Divide gnocchi between four plates. Dollop small spoonfuls of the goat's curd, drizzle with oil and serve immediately.