Gnocchi with Creamy Goat Cheese and Spinach Sauce
Creamy goat cheese and spinach envelop soft potato dumplings in a perfect late-winter meal. Don’t be put-off by the many steps in this recipe. The sauce and the gnocchi come together really fast, and the dumplings can even be made ahead and frozen.
2 pounds of russet potatoes (about 3 large potatoes), peeled and cut into chunks
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (try Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 cup white rice flour (plus more for rolling the gnocchi)
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (10 ounce) bag of spinach
2 cups milk
1/4 cup cream
8 ounces goat cheese (2 4-ounce logs)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
First, Make the Sauce:
1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté two to three minutes or until fragrant.
2. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the milk and cream and cook 3-4 minutes until reduced slightly.
3. Add the goat cheese, Parmesan, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the spinach mixture into a blender or a food processor and pulse until the spinach is chopped and the sauce is fairly smooth.
4. Return the sauce to the skillet and cover until the gnocchi are ready.
Then, Prepare the Gnocchi:
1. Place the potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water. Place the pot over high heat and cook the potatoes until they are cooked through and a fork goes through a piece of potato without any resistance. Drain the potatoes well.
2. Push the potatoes through a ricer or food mill. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to retain their heat. The potatoes should be used while they are still warm.
4. Add the eggs to the potatoes along with the flours and salt. Mix gently with your hands until all of the ingredients are well incorporated and the dough is smooth.
5. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface sprinkled with rice flour. Lightly knead in a little more rice flour if the dough is too sticky. Let the dough rest and cool for 10 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
6. Flour your hands and roll the dough into 1/2-inch thick logs and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Using your thumb, roll each gnocchi over the tines of a fork to make the traditional ridged shape. Place the finished gnocchi on a sheet pan lightly dusted with rice flour. (Note: At this point, you may elect to freeze the gnocchi on the sheet pan. Place in the freezer for a few hours, then slide the gnocchi into a zip-loc bag and freeze until you are ready to use. The gnocchi should be boiled from frozen, adding a couple minutes to the cooking time.)
7. Gently place the gnocchi into the boiling water. After a few minutes they will rise to the surface. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander. Drain well, then add to the saucepan with the hot spinach sauce. Toss together then serve in shallow bowls with Parmesan cheese.