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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Swiss Chard and Ricotta Gnocchi
Swiss Chard and Ricotta Gnocchi
(Gnocchi di Bietola e Ricotta)
For the Gnocchi:
1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard
1 large egg
1 pound ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the Sauce:
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Prepare the Gnocchi:
Remove Swiss chard leaves from stems.

Wash leaves thoroughly in several changes of cold water.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the Swiss chard and cook uncovered until leaves are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Drain the chard and cool.

Squeeze leaves with hands to remove as much water as possible.

Place leaves on a cutting board and chop them very fine (the leaves can also be chopped in a food processor; do not puree them). Makes approximately 2/3 cup of chopped Swiss chard.

Break egg in a large bowl and beat it with a fork.

Add chard and mix well with egg.

Add ricotta cheese, Parmigiano cheese, salt and 1 and 1/2 cups of flour.

Mix well with hands until ricotta and flour are evenly incorporated and mixture sticks together into a rough dough.

Transfer mixture to a wooden board and knead lightly, gradually adding remaining flour if dough sticks heavily to board and to your hands.

Knead dough 2 to 3 minutes, dusting it lightly with flour if needed, until dough is smooth, pliable and just a bit sticky.

Cut off a piece of dough, about size of an orange.

Flour hands lightly (do not flour working area or dough will not slide smoothly).

Using both hands, roll out piece of dough with a light back-and-forth motion into a roll of about the thickness of your index finger.

Cut roll into 1-inch pieces.

Hold a fork with its tines against a work board, curved part of fork facing away from you.

Starting from curved outside bottom of fork, press each piece of dough with your index finger firmly upward along length of tines.

Let gnocchi fall back onto work surface.

Repeat with remaining dough until all gnocchi have been formed.

Line a large tray with a clean kitchen towel and flour towel lightly.

Arrange gnocchi on towel without crowding them.

They can be cooked immediately or kept in refrigerator for several hours.

Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil.

Add 1 tablespoon of salt and gnocchi.

Cook uncovered over high heat until gnocchi rise to surface of the water, 1 to 2 minutes.

Prepare the Sauce:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Remove gnocchi with a large slotted spoon or a skimmer, draining off excess water against side of pot, and place in skillet.

Season lightly with salt and add about half of the Parmigiano cheese.

Stir over medium heat until gnocchi and butter are well combined.

Taste, adjust seasoning and serve with remaining Parmigiano cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
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