We planted a garden a few months ago and already it has been providing us with plenty of kale, silverbeet (chard), lettuce and fresh herbs. The zucchinis and tomatoes have started flowering, the spring onions are on their way and the peppers aren’t going quite as well, but I have faith they’ll come through with a growth spurt once the forecast warm weather hits next week.
Some little creatures have taken a liking to our kale and have been feasting on the leaves, making for very hole-y kale! As we’ve decided not to use any pesticides on our garden, we are just dealing with hole-y kale. As its normally chopped up, you dont even really notice the little bit marks, and a fair amount goes straight from the garden (via a quick rinse under the tap) into the blender each morning for our breakfast smoothies. I love being able to eat delicious fresh produce that literally goes straight from the garden to your mouth in a matter of minutes.
These gnocchi are filled with some of that hole-y kale, as well as some more that we bought from the farmers market to supplement what the bugs had eaten. I also used the remaining homemade ricotta that I showed you how to make in the last post. You could obviously use store-bought ricotta, but make sure you drain it first to remove some of the moisture. If your mixture is a little sticky, just add a bit more flour until you get the right consistency. And another note – gnocchi cooks quite quickly, in around a minute or so. It does not take as long to cook as what pasta does, so adding the gnocchi to the water and then starting the washing up is not a great idea, and you wont get very far. And if you do manage to get through the huge pile of washing up before checking the gnocchi, chances are it will be over cooked and quite tough and dense. And you will have to cook another batch. I speak from experience here.
Kale and ricotta gnocchi
250g kale, stems removed
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
2/3 cup plain flour
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 tsp grated lemon zest (optional)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
Cook the kale first by adding a splash (around 1 Tbsp) of olive oil to a large skillet over medium to high heat and add chopped kale. Stir a minute or so and then add a splash of water. Cook until water is evaporated and add garlic. Stir another few minutes until kale is cooked and garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once kale is cool, add to a food processor and blitz a minute or so until very finely chopped. Add all remaining ingredients to the food processor except the flour and pulse a few times until fairly smooth, then add in the flour and give it another pulse or two until combined. The mixture should stick together and hold its shape, but not be too sticky so that its hard to handle. If it is, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is right.
Shape into small balls and roll gently in your palms to lengthen into small logs. Set on a tray, covered, in the fridge for an hour.
To cook, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Gently drop in the gnocchi (I use a large spoon to add them in a few at a time) and cook until they float to the surface (around 30 seconds). Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to cook the gnocchi in two or more batches.
Remove with a slotted spoon and serve immediately topped with pasta sauce.
*I use my go-to pasta sauce with this gnocchi, which you can find in the post for my vegetable lasagna