400g fresh ricotta (from the deli not out of a tub)
2 eggs organic
1 egg yolk organic
1/2 cup packed cooked spinach, ensure all the water is squeezed out, chopped finely
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, (please don't use ground nutmeg see Hint below)
Finely grated zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of plain flour, plus extra for dusting.
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
Mix ricotta, eggs, egg yolk, spinach, parmesan, nutmeg, lemon zest, salt, pepper and flour. Stir until evenly mixed it will be quite wet.
Have a large pot of boiling water on a rolling boil.
Preheat Oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Use a teaspoon to make walnut size balls of the ricotta mixture dropping onto a plate of flour, toss and gently coat. Try and ensure they are of the same size. Makes approx. 30 in number.
Working in batches of 4 to 5 at a time so not to overcrowd the pan, shake excess flour off the gnocchi then gently drop into the boiling water. Simmer until they rise to the surface (approx. 2-3 minutes). Once at the top cook for another minute then gently lift out with a slotted spoon and place on a greased baking tray. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.
At this point you can cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or drain on paper towel and freeze. Bring back to room temperature before baking.
To make walnut butter, place butter, walnuts and thyme in a small saucepan and cook over a medium heat until walnuts turn golden.
Pour butter over gnocchi and place in oven until sizzling, approx. 6-10 minutes.
Hint: Whole nutmeg are available in Indian specialty food shops or even your local supermarket, they impart a much better flavour when freshly grated. I use a micro plane for ease of use and pop the rest of the nutmeg in a small bottle ready for next time.