Baked Ricotta & Spinach Gnocchi

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Oooh boy these are so so yummy!  And perfect for those who would like to make gnocchi for the first time as you do not have to boil the gnocchi separately.

500g of frozen spinach
250g of fresh ricotta
2 tbsp of freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp tomato paste
Pinch Sugar
1/2 cup water
1tsp gluten free vegetable stock
Freshly chopped basil
Salt & Pepper

Place the frozen spinach in the microwave and defrost and cook as directed on the package.  Drain and squeeze as much water as you can out of it.  Using a pair of scissors, chop finely.  Let it cool for a few minutes.  Add the ricotta, the beaten egg, some freshly grated nutmeg and the Parmesan.  Season with salt and pepper and combine well. Set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic, but do not let it brown.  Add the crushed tomatoes, the tomato paste, pinch of sugar, the bayleaf, the water and stock.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer for a quarter of an hour.  Add the chopped basil and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Put some olive oil in the bottom of an ovenproof ceramic dish, and then top with a layer of tomato sauce using approximately one third of the sauce.

Take two tablespoons.  Take a heap of ricotta & spinach mix and using the other tablespoon, upside down, ‘cap’ the ricotta mix, shaping it into an elongated gnocchi.  Place in the dish and continue with the rest of the gnocchi, placing side by side as in the picture below.  Please excuse the picture as it is not so clear, but at least you can get an idea.

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When you make all 12 gnocchi (you can use teaspoons and make them smaller too) cover with the remaining tomato sauce.

Place in the oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped basil on top.

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