01 April 2014

Gnocchi with Spinach and Dolcelatte ... Cooking with Nigel ... and Potatoes

... Homemade gnocchi, double the spinach, and a creamy cheese sauce. What's not to like? ...

Thus far, I've cooked egg dishes and breads with Nigel. This month I plan to explore some of his potato dishes. It seems to fit, as Springtime always brings us the first warm days when a 'skip forward to the first summertime potato salad' tempts us. BUT... Spring also brings us cold, raw, rainy weather when a hearty soup or a hot potato casserole fits the dinner bill. Then, there are always breakfasts when hash and eggs hit the spot. Which ever tack I take, I'm sure to find some good tater dishes in Nigel's archives and in his kitchen books.

In fact, I browsed the Guardian and found a kicker of a gnocchi bake that has me all excited, so I made gnocchi this afternoon and while it is setting up in the freezer, I have scouted the spinach and cheeses in the fridge. Tonight, it's warm and gooey gnocchi with spinach and blue cheese and mascarpone (as our little backwater doesn't have a clue about dolcelatte). I am thinking that roasted cherry tomatoes would be stellar tucked into this dish also, but darn! We ate them last evening with a roasted chicken with pesto aioli sauce.

Oh well, next time, right ?

Now, I've had a neat surprise. This week the I Heart Cooking Club vote came in on who to concentrate on for the next six months and you guessed it, Nigel has won the hearts of the folks in the club! That means I will be double dipping on occasion when it comes to posting Nigel's recipes. This week, I'll be sharing this post on the IHCC Nigel Slater Intro post, as we have the choice of any of Nigel's recipes. Next week, though, I will no doubt be branching out to another theme. So exciting!

Once again, I invite any and all to get in on the Nigel Slater love ... post a Slater potato recipe and let me know you've done it and I'll link up at the end of the month. AND/OR, join the I Heart Cooking Club and cook along with us as we explore weekly themes using Nigel's recipes! The more the merrier!

Now, here's that recipe for gnocchi and the fixin's !  I made my own gnocchi using Russet potatoes, egg yolks, a bit of flour, Kosher salt and dried chives, but you could just as well buy some from the deli case and keep your life much simpler! However you do it ... enjoy !!! I will say ... we devoured this casserole. It was loaded with spinach (which we love), had a nice hint of blue cheese(which SB just tolerates), and had fluffy light gnocchi that floated nicely in the creamy, cheesy, bubbling sauce. We had the gnocchi with green beans and slivered almonds, which served well for mopping up the cheese sauce left on the plate ... dinner was tasty tonight!

Nigel Slater’s Gnocchi and Spinach and Dolcelatte
amounts slightly adapted and overall recipe reduced to two servings


250 g. potato gnocchi
200 g. fresh spinach leaves
1 tsp. butter
30 g. blue cheese
50 g. mascarpone cheese
150 ml heavy cream
Kosher salt and black pepper
Sprinklings of paprika and nutmeg

Making the Dish:

  1. Butter a small round casserole and set it aside.
  2. Drizzle just a bit of olive oil in a deep fry pan and bring the heat up under it.
  3. While the pan heats, rinse clean picked over fresh spinach leaves and spin the moisture out of them.
  4. Pop the spinach into the hot pan and toss the leaves until they begin to wilt, cover the pan, reduce the heat and let the pan sit for a couple minutes.
  5. When the spinach has wilted but is still bright green, lift it from the pan and let it drain in a colander.
  6. Rinse the pan out and fill it with fresh water. Add a bit of salt and bring it to a boil.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  8. Cook the gnocchi for 3-4 minutes over gently boiling water. Lift from the water when it floats and settle it into the casserole pan, layering the spinach in and around it.
  9. Break the blue cheese into small chunks and layer that in as well. Place dollops of the mascarpone cheese around and over top the casserole.
  10. Mix pepper and Kosher salt with the heavy cream and drizzle over top. Wiggle the casserole to help the cream settle down around the gnocchi and spinach.
  11. Pop the casserole in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then sprinkle some paprika and nutmeg atop the casserole and continue baking for another ten minutes. 
  12.  Turn the broiler on and brown the surface, watching carefully.
  13. Serve piping hot with a side vegetable or a cool salad.

Note: This recipe calls for 100 g. of dolcelatte cheese. Note that I have substituted blue cheese and mascarpone AND have reduced the cheese measure a bit. Do what you will.


  1. I sure hope you have better weather up your way soon! That photo on the side makes me cold...brrrr. Nice choice to welcome Nigel. Very comforting and warming.

  2. OMG, that looks delicious! I can almost taste it! Yum!

  3. Dinner certainly did sound tasty! That looks sooo delicious. I could use something like this right now - it's still cold up here as well.

  4. Oh, this looks so good!

  5. This does look like the perfect comfort food dish--cheesy, potato goodness. Perfect to welcome Nigel and fun that you were already cooking with him and get a chance to 'multi-task' with it. ;-)

  6. This looks insanely good, and I have absolutely no doubt that I would adore every single, gooey, luscious mouthful. I have to confess though that, much as I'm a "make nearly everything I can from scratch" kinda girl, gnocchi is one of the few "ready-made" indulgences I allow myself.

  7. That sounds like soul food to me. Spinach and cheese, that can't be wrong ;-)

  8. Wow, that looks so delicious! I have always wanted to try making gnocchi.
    A great dish to welcome NS!

  9. This dish looks awesome! I want to grab a fork and dig in, but I will try to mind my manners. While all that cheesy goodness is mouthwatering, "double the spinach" is what wins me over. I love spinach!
    Wonderful dish, Susan...and super photos too!

  10. Oh wow! I love how rich and creamy this looks. As Michelle mentioned, I have a certain fondness for spinach and this recipe really calls to me. I will have to pin it and make it during our time with Nigel. Thanks for sharing it :)

  11. Lovely creamy goodness, very nice Susan.


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