Gnocchi with sage and cinnamon

An Italian classic, traditional semolina gnocchi is served with generous amounts of cheese and butter. This healthier but equally delicious version is made with just a little butter, cheese and oil and flavoured with cinnamon and sage. Served with spinach and peas, it makes a great meal.

Gnocchi with sage and cinnamon


  • 3 cups (750 ml) low–fat milk
  • 1¼ cups (150 g) semolina
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup (50 g) freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Pan–fried spinach with peas1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil2 cloves garlic, crushed1 bunch of spring onions, chopped1 cup (155 g) frozen peas500 g English spinach, shreddedlemon or lime wedges to garnish (optional)Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease a Swiss roll tin or baking tray.
  2. Bring the milk to the boil in a large non–stick or heavy–based saucepan.
  3. Remove from the heat and slowly sprinkle in the semolina while stirring constantly.
  4. Return the pan to the heat.
  5. Add the sage, cinnamon and seasoning to taste, then stir until the mixture boils.
  6. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, for a further 1–2 minutes or until the mixture is very thick.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the butter, then allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  8. Beat in the egg and three–quarters of the parmesan until thoroughly combined.
  9. Pile the mixture onto the greased tin and use a wet spatula to spread it out into an oblong or square with a thickness of 1 cm.
  10. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes.
  11. Then cut the mixture into 5 cm squares.
  12. Brush an ovenproof dish with a little of the oil and overlap the squares of gnocchi in it in a single layer.
  13. Trickle the remaining oil over and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.
  14. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the gnocchi is golden and crisp on top.
  15. Prepare the pan–fried spinach just before the gnocchi is ready.
  16. Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
  17. Add the garlic and spring onions, and cook for 1 minute.
  18. Stir in the frozen peas and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until the peas are well thawed.
  19. Stir in the spinach and season to taste.
  20. Cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until the peas are hot and the spinach has just wilted.
  21. Serve immediately, garnishing the spinach and peas with lemon or lime wedges, if using, so that the juice can be added to taste.

Serves 4
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus 5 minutes cooling
Cooking: 25-30 minutes


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