Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe from Piemonte. – The Pasta Challenge

Generally known as ‘rabatòn’ within the native dialect, these superb massive 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.

A little bit rabatòn historical past!

Historically made with Swiss chard and spinach or nettles and wild discipline herbs and greens (erbette di campo), these divine home made gnocchi are a standard dish from a historic space east of town of Alessandria, referred to as La Fraschetta. That is the place, in 1800, Napoleon fought and received the battle of Marengo in opposition to 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 is known as Litta Parodi and it’s right here that rabatòn is alleged to have originated. Actually, yearly the village holds a rabatòn pageant in September.

Baked spinach ricotta gnocchi in oval oven dish.

Based on some meals historians, these massive 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 girls 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 components: Spinach, chard, eggs, breadcrumbs, ricotta, flour, butter, Parmigiano, and herbs.

What are Italian erbette di campo?

Italy apparently has one of many richest sorts of plants in Europe and Italians have lengthy used foraged edible crops, referred to as erbette di campo, in conventional dishes and natural medicines. Curiously, with the arrival of agriculture, many wild crops equivalent 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.

Other than 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 rather well squeezing out as a lot water as attainable. Then puréé in meals processor.

Spring is the perfect season for foraging edible crops, however they don’t all develop at precisely the identical time of yr or in the identical components 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), will 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 do you have to use in your rabatòn?

Initially, these massive 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.

In the present day, most Italian recipes name for both cultivated spinach or Swiss chard or each. I used each. Nevertheless, some recipes I discovered included foraged greens. I feel you need to use what you have got. Frozen spinach would work too. Simply ensure you get as a lot liquid out of it as you possibly can.

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 lots of 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 means 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 a fantastic distinction within the flavour of various sorts of Swiss chard so you need to use any sort for this spinach ricotta gnocchi recipe. You possibly can even use simply Swiss chard and omit the spinach. Nevertheless, 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 Kind 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 possibly can add them to soups, bake them and even ferment them.

The ricotta to your home made spinach gnocchi.

This recipe requires recent cow’s milk ricotta. In Piemonte, these gnocchi are additionally made with a novel ricotta known as seirass. Seirass is the native dialect phrase for ricotta. Nevertheless, in contrast to different sorts, they make this ricotta with milk not whey.

One spinach gnocchi on slotted spoon held over pot of boiling water.
Step 9 Prepare 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 outdoors of Piemonte however, apparently, it’s a very gentle, easy, and recent 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 record!

Different components.

Other than 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.

The right way to make this recipe vegetarian or gluten free.

Other than Parmigiano, this recipe is vegetarian. Italian Parmigiano is made with animal rennet and subsequently not vegetarian. Use a vegetarian parmesan as an alternative.

The one components with gluten are the flour used to roll the prepared gnocchi in and the breadcrumbs. You possibly can substitute the wheat flour with a gluten free flour equivalent to almond flour or rice flour. You solely want a little bit.

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.

Selfmade breadcrumbs from gluten free bread are higher than ready-made, store-bought GF breadcrumbs, except the latter are plain breadcrumbs. Generally they’re made from nuts and different components 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.

The right way to serve your home made spinach ricotta gnocchi.

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

Homemade spinach gnocchi with ricotta (rabatòn).

What to do with leftovers.

Your cooked spinach gnocchi will be stored sealed within the fridge for 2-3 days after which reheated in a scorching oven with a little bit extra butter and sage, which suggests you possibly can truly make and bake them a day or two upfront. You may as well re-bake them in a tomato sauce in an identical method to this recipe for Tuscan spinach gnudi. Gnudi are similar to rabatòn.

Homemade spinach gnocchi with ricotta (rabatòn)

Let me know what you assume.

I can truthfully say that rabatòn are the perfect spinach and ricotta gnocchi I’ve ever made or tasted! Actually, I’m planning to serve them at Christmas this yr as a result of not solely are they so excellent, 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!

In case you strive these massive baked spinach gnocchi I’d love to listen to what you assume. Please, write a remark right here on the weblog or submit a touch upon the Pasta Project Facebook page.

Your suggestions means loads to me!

Buon Appetito!

Homemade spinach ricotta gnocchi from Italy

Selfmade Spinach Gnocchi with Ricotta (Rabatòn)


These luxurious home made massive spinach ricotta gnocchi from Northern Italy are simply the perfect gnocchi ever! Excellent as a starter or a aspect dish you can also make and bake them upfront after which reheat with out shedding any deliciousness!

Prep Time 45 minutes

Prepare dinner Time 30 minutes

Course Important Course, Facet Dish, starter

Delicacies Italian, Mediterranean, Northern Italy, Piedmont-Piemonte

Servings 6

Energy 395 kcal


For the spinach ricotta gnocchi.

  • 1.1 lbs recent ricotta (500g)
  • 1.1 lbs recent 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) will be gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 2 oz wheat flour (50g) or gluten free flour
  • 2 eggs One complete, one yolk.
  • 2 sprigs recent marjoram
  • recent 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 components

  • Wash, put together and prepare dinner the greens. If utilizing recent Swiss chard, wash the chard and reduce off the onerous finish of the stems. Then reduce the leaves off from the remainder of the stem and reduce them into items. Lastly, slice the stems, so they’re fairly small. Prepare dinner stems and leaves collectively till the stems are tender. You may as well use the stems for one more recipe.

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

  • Drain the greens rather 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. Maintain the purée a little bit tough not too easy.

Make the gnocchi combination

  • Drain and mash the ricotta in a big bowl with a fork. Add the vegtable purée, one complete egg and one yolk, the marjoram leaves, some recent parsley and grated nutmeg. Salt to style. Combine all the pieces 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 little bit too moist, you possibly can add extra breadcrumbs.

Make the spinach gnocchi

  • Take a couple of 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 must be about so long as your thumb or half the size of a regular 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.

Prepare dinner and serve the gnocchi

  • Warmth the oven. Prepare 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 among the melted butter from the oven dish spooned over the gnocchi.


Historically, these massive 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 primary course. However, you may as well serve them as a aspect dish.
Rabatòn will be made and baked the day earlier than after which simply reheated whenever you need to serve them with out shedding any deliciousness! You may as well rebake in a tomato sauce.
To make this recipe vegetarian use vegetarian parmesan as an alternative 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 primary course. I received 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.

In case you are concerned with studying the best way to make home made pasta and different kinds of gnocchi, try my store web page for some nice video on-line programs from my associates in Rome! Nothing beats studying to make pasta from Italians! Plus whilst you’re there why not order a duplicate of considered one of my pasta recipe cookbooks or checkout some really helpful pasta making instruments?

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