Les Petits Chefs in the kitchen with Emily Richards – making gnocchi!

We were thrilled to welcome Emily Richards into the Petits Chefs kitchen lab this week.  She is a highly experienced and well-regarded Professional Home Economist with extensive know-how in the food industry, strengthened by her Bachelor of Science, Home Economics specializing in Food and Nutrition from the University of Western Ontario and over 15 years experience in the food world. A lot of the Petits Chefs mums were excited to hear she would be working with their sons – having been avid viewers of Canadian Living Cooks on Food Network.

Emily reached out to me on Twitter asking if she could come and work with the boys and of course, when generous chefs offer their services, I take note so I was very happy when she agreed to come! She asked if she could make gnocchi with the guys and I admit I hesitated, because we’d made gnocchi before with Massimo Bruno and I wondered whether the boys might be bored. Emily reassured me that this recipe (a spinach and ricotta base opposed to the potato base the boys made with Massimo) would be a hit with the boys and since she has two boys of her own (and a girl!), I figured she must know what she’s talking about.

The recipe is super easy, involving some cooked spinach, eggs, flour and ricotta (or cottage cheese because that’s what I could find last week in my 2 seconds to shop for this session). Even the boys remarked on how easily it came together… And it’s so pretty (the boys didn’t say that, actually they thought it looked a big “green” but I liked it!).

It sure was sticky. Emily talked the guys through the flour – both in terms of how you measure – properly measure – dry ingredients into cups as well as how even though the recipe says one quantity you *might* need more – or less – depending on a few things like the weather, the type of flour, the ricotta (or cottage) cheese etc.. and I was pleased to see them adjusting their dough with pinches of flour here and there.

Some of us, ahem, really enjoyed practicing the flour measuring…

And continued to do so even when there was no need for measuring flour….

And then we got to work…

Emily had generously bought a gnocchi rolling board for each boy (THANK YOU!!) so they each got to practice making those distinctive little ridges in the puffy pillows of dough. So much fun…

Meanwhile, Emily got cooking….


Right??? Who wouldn’t want a big old bowl of that on a chilly night? And the beauty of this is that you can make it in under an hour – literally – even if you have 14 little boys in your kitchen! What a perfect weeknight meal to get the kids in the kitchen helping you cook!

Thanks so much Emily for spending the afternoon with us – the boys were thrilled with their gnocchi as well as their little rolling boards (made by Emily’s dad, no less!). We hope you had as much fun as we did (and we’d love to have you back in the Spring!).

If you like the look of this easy weeknight meal, check out Emily’s latest cookbook “Get in The Kitchen and COOK!” – a book to get you in the kitchen preparing tasty meals quickly so you can enjoy time with family and friends both for weeknight meals as well as casual kitchen entertaining with friends. Check out what Emily’s up to by visiting her website or check out her blog and follow her on Twitter ERiscooking.

NEW: I’ve been working my way through Jamie Oliver’s Home Cooking Skills website recipes with my youngest Petits Chefs in my Wednesday afternoon “Cooking Basics” club and blogging about it on the school website where the page is now live. You can check out what my littlest Chefs have been up to this term now if you are interested!


18 thoughts on “Les Petits Chefs in the kitchen with Emily Richards – making gnocchi!”

  1. I wish I could be part of the Petit Chefs Club for all the fantastic learning and tasting, never mind how much fun the flour measuring is (I love doing that too). Everything looks so easy to make, and only in an hour. I am amazed and impressed always.

  2. Thank you Mardi and Emily, the gnocchi eating began on the subway ride home (with our fingers!). Russ was generous enough to save one last piece for his Dad to try. It was super yummy. We look forward to trying the recipe with our very own hand made rolling board.

  3. Love it! I have been wanting to make gnocchi at home and have a few recipes stashed away. The only reason I haven’t is because I thought it would be insanely time consuming. Now, your petit chefs have more then inspired me! I love it!!

  4. On the basis of the LPCs photographis this week, there is only caption that fits: “Many hands make light work”. These little guys are so lucky.

  5. I love reading and viewing all your posts, especially those that involve Les Petits Chefs. They leave me feeling inspired and today, wondering why I’ve never tried to make gnocchi!

  6. Mardi, I wish Cooking Basics club existed in every school, and I would send my kids there. Although they are a little alder than petit chefs, still it’s never too late to learn. I would love to have some of those perfect gnocchis! 🙂


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