This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe (Storzapretis aka Corsican Spinach and Mint Gnocchi) is the final recipe in the Vegetables and Grains chapter of the book. What? Really? The end is, indeed, near (we’re slated to finish cooking through the book in April 2015). It’s a gnocchi made with a soft ricotta, flour, cheese, spinach and a little mint, baked in a tomato sauce and topped with cheese. Sounds easy, huh?
Well, yes, in theory. Though I drained my ricotta as per the recipe, not much liquid drained off (although perhaps had I drained it overnight it might have…) so I thought I had a fairly firm cheese. Wrong! Once I mixed it with the rest of the ingredients (a scant 2 tablespoons of flour and just one egg for what was supposed to be 36 large-ish gnocchi), it was still very very soft and not really able to be made into the gnocchi shape (no matter how misshapen they were supposed to be!) so I placed the mix in the fridge for a bit to see if it would firm up. It did, slightly, and I formed the gnocchi in very rustic quenelle-shapes then rolled them in flour and popped them in the freezer to firm up some more.
I cooked the first batch for a friend for dinner that night and they were delicious although they were VERY delicate – some of them fell apart in the simmering water and others just didn’t hold it together in the sauce in the oven. It was delicious though.
Fortunately I had saved a few (my “photo op” plate – it was very dark by the time I cooked the first batch – so no natural light to speak of for photos!) and popped them in the freezer overnight. The next day I brought my cooking water to a boil then took it off the heat. I placed the strozapretis in there two at a time for less time than I had the night before. I skipped the cold water bath (supposed to firm them up, made a few fall apart the night before) and placed them directly in the baking dish on a splash of the tomato sauce (the original recipe calls for way more sauce than this recipe needs, I feel) – just enough to coat the bottom of the dish. I added a touch more tomato sauce on top of the completed dish them baked at a slightly higher temp than the recipe called for (I think 375˚F?) until the dish was golden and bubbling. The gnocchi stayed together much better than they did the night before 🙂 Leftovers the following day fared even better.
So ok, whilst I know I am known for going rogue on recipes, this time it was for a good reason. These are delicious and I would totally make them again, based on what I learned the first time. Oh, and maybe I’ll try draining my ricotta overnight too 😉
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Storzapretis (Corsican Mint and Spinach Gnocchi) on p 376 of Around my French Table.
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