Food & Drink

Gennaro Contaldo’s spinach gnocchi recipe

Jamie Oliver’s mentor Gennaro Contaldo champions spinach in this tasty dish.

Spinach gnocchi from Gennaro’s Verdure
Spinach gnocchi from Gennaro's Verdure Spinach gnocchi from Gennaro’s Verdure

“This delicious potato-less gnocchi is made with the classic combination of spinach and ricotta,” says Gennaro Contaldo.

“Simple to prepare, just remember to squeeze out the excess liquid from the cooked spinach before mixing with the rest of the ingredients. Serve with tomato sauce for a hearty meal.”

Gnocchi di spinaci


(Serves 4)

250g frozen spinach

1 x 250g tub ricotta

1 egg

40g grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling

Pinch of grated nutmeg

Sea salt

250g ‘00’ flour, plus extra for dusting

For the tomato sauce:

2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

Sea salt

Spinach gnocchi from Gennaro's Verdure
Spinach gnocchi from Gennaro's Verdure Spinach gnocchi from Gennaro’s Verdure (David Loftus/PA)


1. First make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat and sweat the garlic for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes with a little water (rinsed from the can) and a little salt. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium-low heat for about 25 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the gnocchi. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the frozen spinach for about five minutes until defrosted and cooked through. Drain well, squeezing out the excess liquid with your hands, then place on a chopping board and finely chop.

3. Place the spinach in a large bowl with the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, nutmeg and a little salt, and gradually add in the flour. Mix well until you obtain a smooth, soft dough.

4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a long sausage shape. Using a sharp knife, cut into two-and-a-half-centimetre lengths. Continue doing this until all the dough has been used up.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and drop the gnocchi into the water in batches, simmering for a minute or so until they rise to the top.

6. Using a slotted spoon or a spider strainer, lift the gnocchi out of the water and transfer to a dish. Pour over the tomato sauce and gently mix. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan, if you like.

Gennaro's Verdure

Gennaro’s Verdure: Big And Bold Italian Recipes To Pack Your Plate With Veg by Gennaro Contaldo is published by Pavilion Books, priced £26. Photography by David Loftus. Available March 14