Recipe: Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi from Saranello’s, Chicago

During these unprecedented times, when staying at home is of the utmost importance, us here at The AU Review are going to be doing everything we can to help readers live their best lives, indoors.

As with many other media companies who typically focus on getting folks out and about, we’re shifting to adapt to the necessary lock-downs taking place all over the world. One way we’ll be doing so is simply by sharing our favourite recipes.

Over the next few weeks (or months, who knows) we’ll be publishing the cocktail and food recipes that we find most exciting, so that when you aren’t ordering in to support your favourite venues, you’ll know enough to quickly throw together some top-class concoctions.

Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi

Long-standing Chicago trattoria Saranello’s is a go-to in the Windy City for rustic pizza and pasta made from scratch. Given Chicago is one of the best and most diverse food cities in the USA, the fact that Saranello’s is one of the the Chi’s most popular spots for a casual Italian meal says a lot. The food should speak for itself, so try your hand at their recipe for a simple spinach and ricotta cheese gnocchi.

This recipe serves 10, so adjust accordingly.


  • 3 cups spinach, washed
  • 680g ricotta, drained
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup grana padana parmesan (or substitute), freshly grated
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 226g all-purpose flour


  1. Cook the spinach in boiling water until very tender, approx. 5 mins.
  2. Cool in ice water.
  3. Puree the cooked spinach in a food processor until very smooth.
  4. Place the puree into cheese cloth, then place the cheese cloth in a strainer for 30 mins. Wring out any excess liquid from the cloth.
  5. Remove the drained spinach from the cheese cloth and place into a large bowl.
  6. Add the ricotta, egg yolk, parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Using hands, mix well together.
  7. Using a spatula, cut the flour into the spinach mixture until the flour is fully incorporated.
  8. Place the mixture into a pastry bag. Dust the preparation area with flour, and pipe out the spinach mixture in a single row.
  9. Cut into 1 inch logs.
  10. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta for 2-4 minutes until they float to the top.
  11. Gently toss with sauce, add additional parmesan as desired.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.