Easy and healthy Gnocchi Florentine with Sprouted Spelt
- 1 clamshell container organic spinach, chopped fine
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
- 1 half of a small onion, chopped fine
- 8 cloves garlic, minced and divided in half
- 1 8 ounce container ricotta, low-fat
- 2/3 cup sprouted spelt cereal or, 2 packs of Cream of Wheat
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 jar marinara sauce or, your favorite sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 10x10 glass baking dish.
- Finely chop spinach, basil, garlic and onion. In a large bowl, beat 2 eggs, add the chopped vegetables, only half of the garlic , all the ricotta , spelt cereal (or Cream of Wheat) and mix thoroughly.
- Roll the mixture into meatball size and set in the baking dish until all the mixture has been rolled. If you have too many like I did, you can add them to another baking dish. Place them in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- While the gnocchi are baking, empty your red sauce in a saucepan, add the rest of the garlic, the dried basil and oregano, and simmer for 35 minutes.
Growing up, my grandfather's family came from Italy and I had the opportunity to eat rustic Italian cooking. It has always been my favorite comfort food but some of the recipes are very time consuming. Homemade gnocchi is one of them.
This recipe was developed years ago in a ski town with one of my ski girlfriends. She read a recipe in a magazine and decided after skiing all day we were going to whip up gnocchis! If you have ever skied all day the last thing you feel like doing is a complicated recipe. You're tired and very hungry. Dirt sounds delicious! Well, the recipe turned out to be a nightmare as the little gnocchis kept falling apart in the water. OMG, what are we going to eat?? We still had gnocchi mixture not destroyed by the water so I suggested we roll it into balls and bake it. Maybe it was because we were all so hungry but as it turned out, it was delicious! I took the cobbled together recipe home and created something even more nutritious and delicious.
You can make all the ingredients in a food processor but be very careful or you will end up with just some green balls and no spinach to be seen. That could be a good thing if you are serving picky kids! You can also put together a very simple sauce using a can of crushed tomatoes instead of the marinara, just add the garlic and dried herbs and simmer.
Now when I ski with my family, this is always an easy and welcome recipe!