About this recipe:An Italian classic, traditional semolina gnocchi is served with generous amounts of cheese and butter. This healthier but equally delicious version is made with just a little butter, cheese and olive oil and flavoured with cinnamon and sage. Served with lightly cooked spinach and peas, this makes a great family meal.
750 ml (1¼ pints) semi-skimmed milk
150 g (5½ oz) semolina
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage or 1 tsp dried sage
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
30 g (1 oz) butter
1 large egg, beaten
55 g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Pan-fried spinach with peas
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
150 g (5½ oz) frozen peas or petits pois
450 g (1 lb) spinach, shredded
lemon or lime wedges to garnish (optional)
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:25min › Ready in:55min
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7), and grease a Swiss roll tin or baking tray.
Bring the milk to the boil in a large non-stick or heavy-based saucepan. Remove from the heat and slowly sprinkle in the semolina while stirring constantly. Return the pan to the heat. Add the sage, cinnamon and seasoning to taste, then stir until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, for a further 1–2 minutes or until the mixture is very thick.
Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the butter, then allow the mixture to cool slightly. Beat in the egg and three-quarters of the Parmesan cheese until thoroughly combined.
Pile the mixture onto the greased tin and use a wet spatula to spread it out into an oblong or square with a thickness of 1 cm (1/2 in). Leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Then cut the mixture into 5 cm (2 in) squares.
Brush an ovenproof dish with a little of the oil and overlap the squares of gnocchi in it in a single layer. Trickle the remaining oil over and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the gnocchi is golden and crisp on top. Prepare the pan-fried spinach just before the gnocchi is ready.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and spring onions, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the frozen peas or petits pois and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until the peas are well thawed. Stir in the spinach and season to taste. Cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until the peas are hot and the spinach has just wilted.
Serve immediately, garnishing the spinach and peas with lemon or lime wedges, if using, so that the juice can be added to taste.
Some more ideas
Serve fresh tomato sauce with the gnocchi. * Use a round pastry cutter to cut the gnocchi into circles, and interleave thin slices of mozzarella cheese between the overlapping pieces before baking. * Interleave the gnocchi with sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on a bed of grilled sliced courgettes and aubergines, and then bake.
Semolina, milled from wheat grain, is a starchy carbohydrate that also provides some protein as well as manganese and phosphorus.
Each serving provides
A, calcium, potassium * B2, B12, C, folate, potassium * B1, B6, E, copper, iron