Wednesday, 22 June 2016

polenta gnocchi with a super green watercress, spinach and rocket Florentine sauce

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polenta gnocchi with a watercress, spinach and rocket Florentine sauce

Polenta (cornmeal) gnocchi topped with a super green watercress, spinach and rocket Florentine sauce.  A tasty vegetarian main dish recipe, that's gluten free too. 

Inspired by the Italian oven baked dish; gnocchi alla Romana which is traditionally made with semolina and simply flavoured with butter and parmesan.

The super-green Florentine sauce add lots of vitamins and antioxidants as well as a lovely peppery taste which works well with the crème fraiche. The hardest bit of this recipe is stirring the polenta while it cooks and thickens up - which does give your arms a bit of a work out but listen to some music and it'll be over in no time - no pain no gain as they say! 

I like to serve this with a tomato or beetroot salad. 

polenta gnocchi with a super green watercress, spinach and rocket Florentine sauce

serves 6
preparation time: 30-45 minutes (plus about 1 hour cooling time)
cooking time: 20-25 minutes
recipe by Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin 


polenta gnocchi

3 cups fine cornmeal/polenta
6 cups water
50g grated parmesan/pecorino
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves

watercress, spinach and rocket Florentine sauce
400ml creme fraiche (or ricotta would also work well)
200g mixed spinach, watercress, rocket leaves
30-50g parmesan or pecorino cheese to grate on top before baking
1/2 - 1 tsp grated nutmeg
black pepper to taste

preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6 and grease a shallow baking dish with 1 tbsp butter

add salt and chopped sage to the water and bring to the boil in a large saucepan

when boiling add the polenta in a steady stream to prevent lumps, stir constantly for about 30-45 minutes with a wooden spoon until the polenta starts to leave the sides of the pan and has thickened up and there are no lumps

take off the heat and add the grated cheese and remaining butter - stir until combined then tip onto a greased surface or tray

spread out with a knife to about 1.5cm thick (dipping the knife in boiled water helps prevent the polenta sticking to it) then leave until completely cool

to make the gnocchi, cut the cooled polenta into small circles (I used a 5cm cutter) and then place in a baking dish in a single layer, slightly overlapping

to make the Florentine sauce roughly chop the watercress, spinach and rocket  then mix with the creme fraiche, grated nutmeg and black pepper to taste

top the gnocchi with the sauce then sprinkle more grated cheese on top before baking

bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the gnocchi are heated through and the top is golden and bubbling

delicious served with a simple tomato or beetroot salad 

bon appetit! 

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  1. I LOVE polenta but I'd never have thought to make gnocchi with it - what a delicious idea!

    1. a really tasty alternative - and gluten free too. Thanks for stopping by :)

  2. Oh wow, now that has my attention - as always! Where did you learn to cook by the way, you always inspire me! #happyandhome

    1. thanks so much for your lovely comments. I am self taught, although influenced hugely by my family and travels. I am always interested in learning new flavours and coming up with new recipes.

  3. Sorry for the delay in response - and thanks so much to all for stopping by and your comments - they are really appreciated :)


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