Magda Gagliano's Perfect Leftovers

Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi


I have a family that hates leftovers, so I’m often left with insignificant leftover servings that I simply cannot let go to waste. Yes, I am that person that will salvage those two limp celery stalks and give them a new existence.

As I was getting ready to prepare dinner during NYC’s umpteenth snowstorm this year, I was overcome with the desire to clean out my fridge. As I opened the door, I found myself staring at boiled carrots leftover from chicken stock, extra chopped spinach from a stracciatella, a fair amount of ricotta and very sad-looking basil.

So, what do you do when you have leftover spinach, ricotta, basil and boiled carrots? Well, if you are like me, you are going make spinach gnocchi with tomato sauce and basil oil.
Gnocchi can be very intimidating, but I find that ricotta gnocchi are far more forgiving, not to mention lighter and fluffier. Just remember to not overwork the dough or boil for too long. The rest is pretty simple.

I have recently become a huge fan of Mutti canned cherry tomatoes. These bright but slightly acidic bursts of flavor are truly summer in a can... in January. To sweeten the sauce, I added the mashed boiled carrots. 

Next, I pureed the basil with grapeseed oil and voila, basil oil for finishing my sauce. Leftover oil can be stored in your fridge for up to one week and can be used to spruce up just about anything from rare roast beef to chicken salad.

I hope this recipe encourages you to not only clean out your fridge every once in a while, but also to give those leftovers a second chance. 

Go to page 2 for the recipe

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