Gnocchi in a creamy spinach sauce with deep-fried broccoli florets

Pine nuts add crunch to homemade gnocchi served in a creamy sauce. Drop the deep-fried broccoli to make an easy midweek meal.

Ingredients

For the fresh gnocchi
  • 300g/10½oz King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 60g/2¼oz plain flour
  • 40g/1½oz parmesan cheese (or a similar vegetarian hard cheese), finely grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the spinach sauce
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100g/3½oz baby spinach leaves
  • 150ml/5fl oz vegetable stock
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50g/2oz parmesan cheese, finely grated
For the deep-fried broccoli
  • 1 small broccoli head, cut into small florets, blanched and refreshed
  • 110g/4oz plain flour
  • 110g/4oz cornflour
  • 150-200ml/5-7fl oz sparkling water

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  2. For the gnocchi, place the potatoes on a baking tray and bake in the oven for an hour.

  3. When cooked, scoop out the potato flesh and pass through a potato ricer into a mixing bowl, or mash very thoroughly.

  4. Add the flour, parmesan and one tablespoon of olive oil. Beat together until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Use your hands to bring the dough together and roll it into long sausage shape. Cut into 2-3cm/¾-1¼in length pieces.

  6. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the gnocchi until they float to the surface (approximately one minute). Do not crowd the pan – you may need to cook the gnocchi in batches.

  7. Remove the gnocchi from the water with a slotted spoon and drain. Repeat the process with any remaining dough.

  8. Heat a frying pan until hot then add the remaining olive oil. Add the gnocchi and fry until golden-brown. Set aside.

  9. For the spinach and broccoli sauce, heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts to the pan and cook for three minutes, or until lightly browned.

  10. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for one minute. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for one minute, or until spinach wilts.

  11. Add the stock and cook for four minutes, then add the cream and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Mix the cooked gnocchi into the sauce.

  12. For the deep-fried broccoli, heat a deep-fat fryer to 180C/350F, or until a cube of bread sizzles and turns golden-brown when dropped into the oil.

  13. In a bowl, mix the plain flour and cornflour with the sparkling water. Dip the broccoli florets into the batter.

  14. Add the broccoli florets to the hot oil and fry until crisp. Carefully remove the broccoli using a slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper.

  15. To serve, place the warm gnocchi and sauce in serving bowls with the fried broccoli on top.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

1 to 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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