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If you are a vegetarian in a family of meat eaters you might draw the short straw over Christmas.  The focus of Christmas lunch is usually on ham and turkey or seafood and sometimes a meal for the vegetarian in the family can easily be forgotten or planning for it left to the last minute.  So I decided to put together a few of my favourite recipes to inspire you when preparing your vegetarian Christmas lunch.

I thought for the first part in my Vegetarian Christmas series I would start with spinach and ricotta gnocchi.  Not only is it delicious, but the colours are very festive too.  Even better, it’s easy and you can prepare the components ahead of time and cook the gnocchi at the last minute as you are getting ready to serve the rest of your lunch.

Spinach & Ricotta Gnocchi

Serves 4

350g of low fat ricotta
450g of frozen spinach, thawed
120g of parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs
1/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg

1. Drain the thawed spinach in a colander lined with paper towel to remove the moisturiser.

2. In a bowl combine the spinach, parmesan, ricotta, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and flour and mix well.  Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

3. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and using a teaspoon form the mixture in your hand into an egg shape.  Note if the mixture is too wet and covers your hands you will need to add more flour.  The mixture should be sticky but easily able to form into a solid egg shape.  If the mixture is too wet it will disintegrate when cooked.

4. Bring a pot of water to the boil and season well with salt.  The water should taste like the sea when well seasoned.  Cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface and remove with a slotted spoon.  Transfer to a dish and keep warm while you cook the rest of the gnocchi.

5. Serve with your favourite pasta sauce of try my Basic Pasta Sauce.

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