Spinach Gnocchi with Shaved Ricotta Salata and Brown Butter Recipe

Executive Chef Marc Vetri
About: At Vetri, the Chef’s approach is summed up perfectly by a quote that lines the bottom of each menu page like a quiet but commanding mantra: “The more simple the preparation appears, the more attention to detail is needed, as the margins of error increase.” The words are attributed to Fulvio Pierangelini, but the sentiment is pure Marc Vetri.

Recipe Info

Restaurant: Vetri | Philadelphia

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 6 hour(s) 30 minutes
Cuisine: Italian
Meal Type: Recipemealtype object (5)
Main Ingredient: Recipemainingredient object (144)
Dish Type: Recipedishtype object (4)
Cooking Method: Recipemethod object (11)
Season/Occasion: Recipeoccasion object (12)
Dificulty: Recipedifficulty object (2)
Vegetarian: Yes



 De-stem the spinach and wash thoroughly in cold water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach for 3 to 4 minutes (in batches if necessary). The stems should be soft enough so they will puree smooth; otherwise, the gnocchi will taste stringy. Transfer the spinach to an ice-water bath. Remove the spinach from the ice water, squeeze to remove moisture, and place in a food processor. Puree until very smooth, about 5 solid minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup liquid if necessary to create a smooth mixture. The consistency of the spinach should be very mushy like wet batter. Put the pureed spinach in a medium mesh strainer set over a bowl. Cover and drain in the refrigerator for 18 hours. 

Place the drained spinach in a bowl and, using your hands, mix in the egg, flour, breadcrumbs, Grana Padano, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The mixture should remain wet enough to be squeezed through a pastry bag with a wide tip.

Bring a large pot of fresh salted water to a boil. Fill a rimmed baking sheet or large roasting pan with flour to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Put the spinach mixture in a pastry bag or a zipper lock bag with a corner cut off. Squeeze out little spinach balls (about 3/4 inch) onto the flour filled tray. Gently roll the balls around in the flour until they are evenly dusted. Shake off the excess flour then drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Remove the gnocchi from the water after about 45 seconds. Drain and place on a plate.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, brown the butter over medium heat to the color of hazelnut, about 8 minutes. Watch carefully so that the butter doesn’t burn. Sprinkle the gnocchi with Parmesan cheese, shave ricotta salata on top, then pour on the brown butter. Serve immediately. 

Prep Time Note:

18 hour refrigerator time


2 1/2 lb. flat-leaf spinach 1 piece(s) large egg 1/2 C. tipo 00 flour or all-purpose flour 1/2 C. plain dry breadcrumbs 1/2 C. grated Grana Padano cheese 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 1 pinch Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 C. Tipo 00 or all-purpose flour for dredging 6 Tbsp. butter 1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese 1/4 lb. piece of ricotta salata cheese

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