We never have a traditional smoked fish break-the-fast because one of my daughters is allergic to fish. Instead, we have a vegetarian-dairy feast. My friend Susan brings her famous, not-to-be-missed kugel. Another friend brings dessert, although I usually also make rugelach.
But this year I'm not doing the Spinach Pie.
No particular reason other than it's time for a change.
But not a huge change.
I decided to make Spinach Gnocchi. It's already in the freezer, ready-to-bake.
- 2 10-ounce packages thawed, frozen chopped spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Butter a baking dish. Squeeze the spinach to extract as much liquid as possible. Place the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes. Spoon the spinach mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the ricotta cheese and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs, the 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly to blend the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. With floured hands, shape the spinach mixture into balls about 1-1/2-inches in diameter. Gently drop the balls into the water. Keep the water at a simmer. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until the balls rise to the top and look fluffy. Lift the balls with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to dry slightly. Place the balls in the buttered baking dish. Drizzle them with melted butter and the 1/2-cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 18 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly crisped.