Spinach Gnocchi with Alfredo Sauce, Roasted Tomatoes and Crab

In celebration of our 1-year wedding anniversary, we decided to re-create the first joint dinner we made together when we first started dating. We clearly selected the spinach gnocchi for its sentimental value rather than its heart health rating.

This dish is rich and will easily serve 6 hungry gnocchi lovers.

Decadence on a Platter

 

Gnocchi Ingredients

1   lb. package chopped frozen spinach

8   oz. ricotta cheese, drained

1   c. all purpose flour

2   eggs, beaten

2-3 pinches freshly grated nutmeg

Freshly ground salt and pepper

24  cherry tomatoes

16 oz lump crab meat (omit for vegetarian option) – canned is fine since Alfredo sauce will dominate

Parmesan cheese to garnish

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients

*I am trying to recall what I actually included in the Alfredo sauce. This is not exact nor what my cooking that night. If feeling risk averse, look up a recipe online.

5 tbsp butter

5 tbsp flour  – many recipes did not call for flour but I found that creating a good white sauce base with flour (like my mom used to make) worked really well

2 cloves minced garlic

2 c. Half & Half or heavy whipping cream

1-2 c. parmesan cheese (according to how thick you like the sauce)

Salt and white pepper, to taste

Directions

Cook spinach according to instructions. Cool, drain, and squeeze dry. Chop finely. In a bowl, mix together spinach, ricotta, flour, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. With generously floured hands (keep re-flouring), form mixture into small sausage shapes and place on cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Patience will dictate how reasonably sized your gnocchi turn out (we had two clearly distinct size patterns).  Refrigerate 1+ hour or until firm.

To roast the cherry tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400F. Oil a roasting pan. Cut tomatoes in half and arrange cut side up in pan. Season with salt and pepper and roast 20 minutes or until blistered.

To make the sauce: Make alfredo sauce while the tomatoes are roasting. Melt butter, mix in minced garlic, and mix in flour until pasty but blended well. I can’t recall for sure, but I think I mixed in a little white wine at this point. Add cream in increments, making sure you blend until smooth before adding more cream. Add parmesan cheese in a couple of batches, melting and blending until smooth. Add white pepper and salt to taste. Keep on low heat while you finish cooking the gnocchi, stirring on occasion to prevent burning. Mix some of the smaller crab pieces in with the sauce (reserve the largest lumps to top the dish).

To cook the gnocchi: Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Drop spinach gnocchi, a few at a time into water. When floating at top, removed with slotted spoon. Drain and keep warm while cooking remainder.

To finish: Serve the gnocchi, add tomatoes, and cover with sauce (you might want to use less enthusiastic quantities of alfredo sauce than we did). Top with the larger pieces of crab. Finally, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. This dish pairs well with a bottle of chardonnay.

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2 Comments to “Spinach Gnocchi with Alfredo Sauce, Roasted Tomatoes and Crab”

  1. How delicious! I love the flavor combinations.

  2. Margie, this sounds like a wonderfully rich meal to enjoy occasionally. I’m glad that your Grandmother Virginia’s white sauce worked well for you as the sauce base. I’ve used it many times as the base for a variety of sauces. Mom

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