I was craving spinach and ricotta yesterday. One thing that my family always told me was that if you are craving something, your body needs it and lacks it.
So it made me think...when I was also craving chips and pizza smothered with grease yesterday, was it my body trying to tell me something or if it was it simply my lack of self control? I’d like to think it was my body needing some essential nutrient that is only found in chips and pizza, but I somehow doubt that.
The natural partner for spinach and ricotta is pasta. In absence of chips, I decided to make my pasta crispy. I pan fried some gnocchi, and it worked out great. A perfect substitute. Ok, not a perfect substitute, but a darn creative one.
This dish may look heavy, but it is in fact quite light. I drizzled a bit of lemon juice on top and the citrus juice added a nice touch. CK loved it, and even claimed it as his best meal in SD so far! There is nothing better than your hubby being completely satisfied from a meal that you cooked.
Depending on whether or not you use it as a main dish, this recipe serves 2-4.
Crispy Gnocchi with Spinach and Ricotta
- 1 Tbsp of fresh marjoram
- Light ricotta cheese
- 1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1 regular size chicken breast (optional)
- 2 small onions, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (16oz) package of gnocchi
- lemon juice
- parmesan cheese, grated
- red pepper flakes
1. Cut the chicken into cubes or in any size and shape you want.
2. Season the chicken with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Mix well so that the salt and pepper is distributed evenly.
3. Heat a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pan on high heat.
4. Over medium heat, cook the onions until slightly caramelized (approximately 5 minutes).
5. Add in the garlic and ½ Tbsp of fresh marjoram, and cook for another 1 minute.
6. Add in the chicken and cook until chicken is fully cooked. The chicken should be a little brown on the outside.
7. Add in the spinach, ½ Tbsp of fresh marjoram, ½ tsp of red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 7-10 minutes until the spinach is heated.
8. When the spinach is heated, turn off the heat and spoon in the ricotta cheese until you get the consistency you like. This will depend on how creamy you like it. I used about 4 large tablespoons. Transfer the spinach and ricotta mixture into a bowl.
9. Clean the pan well, and heat about 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil on high heat. If you have two pans, you can start making the gnocchi while you are heating the spinach (step 7).
10. Turn the heat down to medium high, and add in the gnocchi. Add just enough gnocchi so that it creates a single layer. Do not fill your pan so much that the pasta is piled on top of each other.
11. When one side of the gnocchi is crispy and brown, flip it over and cook the other side (About 3-5 minutes on each side). The crispy gnocchi should not taste greasy at all.
12. Remove the gnocchi from the pan, and transfer onto plates.
13. Spoon the spinach and ricotta mixture on top of the gnocchi.
For final touches, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top, and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.