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Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe from Italy. – The Pasta Challenge

Generally known as ‘rabatòn’ within the native dialect, these superb giant baked spinach ricotta gnocchi come from Alessandria in Piemonte (Piedmont) in Northern Italy. Made with spinach and Swiss chard and ricotta these Italian dumplings are each luxurious and lightweight. Historically baked with butter and sage, this home made gnocchi dish is ideal as a starter for particular events and holidays!

Homemade spinach ricotta gnocchi from Italy.

Somewhat rabatòn historical past!

Historically made with Swiss chard and spinach or nettles and wild subject herbs and greens (erbette di campo), these divine home made gnocchi are a conventional dish from a historic space east of the town of Alessandria, often known as La Fraschetta. That is the place, in 1800, Napoleon fought and received the battle of Marengo towards the Austrians.

Homemade spinach gnocchi with ricotta (rabaton).

La Fraschetta is an agricultural space made up of 8 small cities and villages situated on what is called the Alessandria plain. One in all these villages known as Litta Parodi and it’s right here that rabatòn is claimed to have originated. The truth is, yearly the village holds a rabatòn pageant in September.

Baked spinach ricotta gnocchi in oval oven dish.

In keeping with some meals historians, these giant spinach gnocchi have been initially made with ricotta and wild greens and herbs bartered for bread and different meals by herders travelling by means of with their cattle to the summer season mountain pastures from the lowlands within the spring. Native ladies would then make the gnocchi by mixing eggs and bread with the ricotta and greens.

Ingredients for spinach gnocchi with ricotta (rabatòn) on wood work surface.
Step 1 Collect your elements: Spinach, chard, eggs, breadcrumbs, ricotta, flour, butter, Parmigiano, and herbs.

What are Italian erbette di campo?

Italy apparently has one of many richest styles of flowers in Europe and Italians have lengthy used foraged edible crops, often known as erbette di campo, in conventional dishes and natural medicines. Curiously, with the arrival of agriculture, many wild crops similar to rocket (arugula), asparagus and fennel have been and nonetheless are each cultivated and foraged.

Washed and chopped Swiss chard in saucepan with water.
Step 2 wash and clear the greens and prepare dinner the spinach and Swiss chard individually if utilizing each.

Aside from these talked about above, the preferred foraged edible crops used within the Italian kitchen are nettles (ortica), tarrasaco (dandelion), tarragon (dragoncello), sorrel (acetosa), wild garlic (aglio orsino), chicory (cicoria), Swiss chard (bietola), mint (menta), puntarelle (the flower shoots of Catalonian chicory) capers (capperi) and salsola soda (agretti). After all, there are extra.

Puréed Swiss chard and spinach in food processor.
Step 3 Drain the greens very well squeezing out as a lot water as attainable. Then puréé in meals processor.

Spring is the most effective season for foraging edible crops, however they don’t all develop at precisely the identical time of 12 months or in the identical elements of the nation. Some, like wild fennel, are extra prevalent within the south and subsequently utilized in Southern dishes. Others, like wild garlic (aglio orsino), could be discovered largely within the North the place the local weather is extra temperate.

Mashed fresh ricotta in a white bowl with fork.
Step 4 Drain the ricotta nicely and mash it with a fork in a big bowl.

Which greens must you use in your rabatòn?

Initially, these giant baked spinach and ricotta gnocchi would have had solely wild greens in them. These included wild spinach, chard, nettles, chicory and others relying on the season and availability.

Ricotta, puréed greens, eggs, and herbs in white bowl.
Step 5 Add the eggs, puréed greens, marjoram, parsley and nutmeg to the ricotta and blend nicely.

Right now, most Italian recipes name for both cultivated spinach or Swiss chard or each. I used each. Nonetheless, some recipes I discovered included foraged greens. I feel you should utilize what you might have. Frozen spinach would work too. Simply ensure you get as a lot liquid out of it as you may.

Grated Parmigiano cheese in white bowl with spinach gnocchi mixture.
Step 6 Add the grated Parmigiano or vegetarian parmesan to the gnocchi combination. Combine .

The Swiss chard.

Do you know that chard, additionally generally called Swiss chard, doesn’t come from Switzerland however was initially domesticated from wild beets in Sicily? These days, there are numerous kinds of chard out there to develop and purchase. Many individuals love rainbow chard (which is definitely simply a mixture of completely different varieties). Regardless of the color of the stems, chard can be utilized in a lot the identical method as spinach or kale.

Breadcrumbs added to white bowl with spinach and ricotta gnocchi mixture.
Step 7 Lastly add within the breadcrumbs and blend them into the gnocchi dough.

There isn’t an amazing distinction within the flavour of various styles of Swiss chard so you should utilize any sort for this spinach ricotta gnocchi recipe. You may even use simply Swiss chard and miss the spinach. Nonetheless, I’m undecided if the colored stems of sure kinds of chard will have an effect on the color of the ‘inexperienced’ in these gnocchi.

Uncooked large cigar shaped spinach ricotta gnocchi on wood pastry board.
Step 8 Type the spinach ricotta gnocchi (see recipe directions).

I used Barese Swiss chard which has white stems. So, I used each the stems and the leaves. Apparently, initially chard had solely white stems not colored. I’d counsel utilizing simply the leaves in case your chard has colored stems. You should utilize the latter in one other recipe. You may add them to soups, bake them and even ferment them.

The ricotta on your home made spinach gnocchi.

This recipe requires contemporary cow’s milk ricotta. In Piemonte, these gnocchi are additionally made with a singular ricotta known as seirass. Seirass is the native dialect phrase for ricotta. Nonetheless, not like different varieties, they make this ricotta with milk not whey.

One spinach gnocchi on slotted spoon held over pot of boiling water.
Step 9 Cook dinner the spinach ricotta gnocchi in boiling water till they rise to the floor. Take away with a slotted spoon.

I haven’t tried seirass because it’s not out there exterior of Piemonte however, apparently, it’s a very gentle, clean, and contemporary ricotta with cream in it.  They are saying it has a extra buttery flavour than regular ricotta and is sweeter too. On my to strive listing!

Different elements.

Aside from the greens and ricotta you want eggs, breadcrumbs, parmigiano, nutmeg, parsley and marjoram for the spinach gnocchi. Plus, flour to roll them in and butter, extra parmigiano and sage whenever you bake them.

Boiled spinach ricotta gnocchi in oval oven dish with pieces of butter.
Step 10 Place the boiled spinach ricotta gnocchi in a nicely buttered oven dish. Add extra items of butter.

Methods to make this recipe vegetarian or gluten free.

Aside from Parmigiano, this recipe is vegetarian. Italian Parmigiano is made with animal rennet and subsequently not vegetarian. Use a vegetarian parmesan as a substitute.

The one elements with gluten are the flour used to roll the prepared gnocchi in and the breadcrumbs. You may substitute the wheat flour with a gluten free flour similar to almond flour or rice flour. You solely want a bit of.

Boiled spinach gnocchi covered in grated parmigiano and some sage leaves in oven dish.
Step 11 Sprinkle your spinach gnocchi with extra grated cheese and add some sage leaves.

Do-it-yourself breadcrumbs from gluten free bread are higher than ready-made, store-bought GF breadcrumbs, until the latter are plain breadcrumbs. Typically they’re made from nuts and different elements which can change the flavour of your spinach gnocchi. Plus, I’m undecided how nicely the gnocchi will maintain collectively with out bread.

Baked spinach ricotta gnocchi in white oval oven dish.
Step 12 Bake the spinach ricotta gnocchi in a preheated oven till the cheese begins to brown.

Methods to serve your home made spinach ricotta gnocchi.

Historically, these giant gnocchi are served straight from the oven with a few of the melted butter from the baking dish spooned over them. They’re additionally implausible baked and served in particular person portion dishes! Italians eat them as a ‘primo’ or first course (starter) earlier than the principle course. However, you may as well serve them as a facet dish.

Homemade spinach gnocchi with ricotta (rabatòn).

What to do with leftovers.

Your cooked spinach gnocchi could be saved sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days after which reheated in a scorching oven with a bit of extra butter and sage, which suggests you may really make and bake them a day or two prematurely. You can even re-bake them in a tomato sauce in an analogous method to this recipe for Tuscan spinach gnudi. Gnudi are similar to rabatòn.

Homemade spinach gnocchi with ricotta (rabatòn)

Let me know what you suppose.

I can actually say that rabatòn are the most effective spinach and ricotta gnocchi I’ve ever made or tasted! The truth is, I’m planning to serve them at Christmas this 12 months as a result of not solely are they so superb, however they are often made and baked the day earlier than after which simply reheated whenever you need to serve them with out shedding any deliciousness! Only a good dish for entertaining!

For those who strive these giant baked spinach gnocchi I’d love to listen to what you suppose. Please, write a remark right here on the weblog or put up a touch upon the Pasta Challenge Fb web page.

Your suggestions means rather a lot to me!

Buon Appetito!

Homemade spinach ricotta gnocchi from Italy

Do-it-yourself Spinach Gnocchi with Ricotta (Rabatòn)


These luxurious home made giant spinach ricotta gnocchi from Northern Italy are simply the most effective gnocchi ever! Good as a starter or a facet dish you may make and bake them prematurely after which reheat with out shedding any deliciousness!

Prep Time 45 minutes

Cook dinner Time 30 minutes

Course Essential Course, Facet Dish, starter

Delicacies Italian, Mediterranean, Northern Italy, Piedmont-Piemonte


For the spinach ricotta gnocchi.

  • 1.1 lbs contemporary ricotta (500g)
  • 1.1 lbs contemporary spinach and /or Swiss chard (500g) you may as well use frozen spinach.
  • 3.5 oz Parmigiano Reggiano (100g) or vegetarian parmesan
  • 2.5 oz breadcrumbs (70g) could be gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 2 oz wheat flour (50g) or gluten free flour
  • 2 eggs One entire, one yolk.
  • 2 sprigs contemporary marjoram
  • contemporary parsley
  • tsp nutmeg freshly grated
  • salt to prepare dinner gnocchi and to style

For baking the gnocchi

  • 2 oz butter (50g) extra if wanted
  • sage leaves


Put together the elements

  • Wash, put together and prepare dinner the greens. If utilizing contemporary Swiss chard, wash the chard and lower off the exhausting finish of the stems. Then lower the leaves off from the remainder of the stem and lower them into items. Lastly, slice the stems, so they’re fairly small. Cook dinner stems and leaves collectively till the stems are gentle. You can even use the stems for one more recipe.

  • If utilizing contemporary spinach, wilt it in a saucepan with simply the water on the leaves after washing them.

  • Drain the greens very well after cooking and squeeze out as a lot water as attainable. Chop the spinach and chard leaves and stems. Then purée in a meals processor. Preserve the purée a bit of tough not too clean.

Make the gnocchi combination

  • Drain and mash the ricotta in a big bowl with a fork. Add the vegtable purée, one entire egg and one yolk, the marjoram leaves, some contemporary parsley and grated nutmeg. Salt to style. Combine every part collectively.

  • Add the grated Parmigiano or vegetarian parmesan to the bowl and blend once more. Then add the breadcrumbs and blend once more! If the gnocchi dough feels a bit of too moist, you may add extra breadcrumbs.

Make the spinach gnocchi

  • Take a few tablespoonful of the gnocchi combination. Utilizing your palms roll it right into a ball after which roll right into a cigar form on a nicely floured pastry board. These gnocchi ought to be about so long as your thumb or half the size of a typical fork.

  • Professional tip Boil a small pan of water and prepare dinner one spinach ricotta gnocchi earlier than making all of them to make certain it holds collectively nicely. Rabatòn solely want a few minutes to prepare dinner. As soon as the gnocchi rises to the floor of the water, take away with a slotted spoon and place in a buttered oven dish.

Cook dinner and serve the gnocchi

  • Warmth the oven. Cook dinner the gnocchi 3 to 4 at a time as per above in boiling salted water. Place them in a single layer in a nicely buttered oven dish.

  • Add items of butter on prime of the spinach gnocchi together with some sage leaves. Lastly, sprinkle with parmigiano and bake in a preheated oven at 200°c (392 °f) till the cheese on prime begins to brown.

  • Serve instantly with a few of the melted butter from the oven dish spooned over the gnocchi.


Historically, these giant gnocchi are served straight from the oven. They’re additionally scrumptious baked and served in particular person portion dishes! Italians eat them as a ‘primo’ or first course (starter) earlier than the principle course. However, you may as well serve them as a facet dish.
Rabatòn could be made and baked the day earlier than after which simply reheated whenever you need to serve them with out shedding any deliciousness! You can even rebake in a tomato sauce.
To make this recipe vegetarian use vegetarian parmesan as a substitute of Italian Parmigiano.
To make this recipe gluten free, use GF flour and GF plain breadcrumbs (see content material for extra particulars)
Serves 6 as a starter, 4 as a important course. I obtained 18 gnocchi out of the ingredient portions on this recipe.

Key phrase baked gnocchi, home made gnocchi, spinach gnocchi, spinach ricotta gnocchi

Different pasta recipes with spinach, chard or edible crops.

  1. Spaghetti with agretti (salsola soda).
  2. Puntarelle pasta with burrata.
  3. Sicilian pasta with sardines and wild fennel.
  4. Pansotti with walnut sauce.
  5. Baked pasta shells with spinach and ricotta.
  6. Tuscan pasta tordellata with ragu, Swiss chard and ricotta.


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