Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is „Storzapretis (Corsican Spinach Gnocchi)“ – a wonderful dish of end of week comfort - and certainly worth making.
Gnocchi are small Italian dumplings usually made from potato, flour (traditionally buckwheat flour) and egg and shaped into small ovals with a ridged pattern on one side. They can also be made from semolina flour, as they are in Rome. Or, as in this recipe, they can be prepared with fresh ricotta or brocciu (a cheese produced from ewe's milk on the island of Corsica, where it is considered a national food). Gnocchi are often poached and then cooked au gratin (with grated cheese) in the oven and served as a hot starter. They are served in a similar way to pasta often with a cheese- or tomato-based sauce and freshly grated parmesan. They can also be added to soups, stews and casseroles.
Dorie´s recipe for the Storzapreti is a two-step process. I started with the preparation of the spinach gnocchi. You will be required to follow the recipe rather closely. Cook the spinach, drain very well and chop finely. Then add the brocciu or ricotta, an egg, grated cheese (I used Parmigiano Reggiano), mint or majoram (I used fresh basil and Italian parsley instead), a bit of flour, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Using two tablespoons, you will form quenelle, freeze them for a good thirty minutes. While the gnocchis get the cold treatment, it is a good time to make the fresh tomato sauce – I just prepared my very favorite recipe with previously oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, black olives, capers, a bit of garlic and more fresh basil – I reduced it quiet a bit until it had a nice, thick consistency.
Carefully cook the gnocchi in barely simmering, salted water, drain, add the tomato sauce to an oven-proof dish, layer the gnocchi in or on the sauce, add some more cheese on top, pop in the oven, bake for a bit and serve piping hot.
Whimsical pasta shapes such as these Corsican gnocchi invite inspiration in the kitchen and are just plain fun to eat. That´s at least what my taste testers thought – our kids absolutely adored them.
To see how much the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this recipe, please go here.
For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for the "Storzapreti (Corsican Spinach Gnocchi)" on pages 376-377 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".