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Sebastian Kienle’s favourite recipe

Do you ever ask yourself what top athletes actually eat? How do they manage to remain fit enough for both training and competition? One thing is for sure, nutrition plays a large role. With this in mind, PowerBar wanted to share some of the top athletes’ favourite recipes with you. Today: Sebastian Kienle.

Dish: “Mediterranean” spinach gnocchi in tomato sauce. Ideal for carb-loading. Serves either four starter portions or two main courses.

What you need:

  • 600 g floury potatoes for boiling
  • 500 g fresh spinach
  • 500 g tomato passata
  • 150 g (wholemeal) flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion (small to medium)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp. oil (e.g. virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. Mediterranean herbs (e.g. dried thyme, oregano, basil)
  • 2 tbsp. pine nuts
  • ½ bunch of basil
  • 3 l grape juice
  • Nutmeg, pepper, sugar, (sea)salt

Here’s how:

1.) Gnocchi dough:

Either boil the potatoes in salt water for 20 minutes or steam them to preserve their nutrients. Wash the spinach and place it in a pot for a few minutes with some boiling salt water. Drain the spinach and chop it finely. Peel the potatoes while they are hot and then mash them or press them through a fine sieve or a potato press. Finally, mix in the egg yolk, flour and spinach, and season with a pinch of salt. Let the dough rest for about an hour.

2.) Tomato sauce:

Dice the onions and finely chop the garlic. Put 1 tbsp. of oil in a pot and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato paste and deglaze the pot with some grape juice. Next, add the tomato passata and the Mediterranean herbs. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and add a pinch of sugar. Allow the sauce to simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.) Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Stir or shake the pan from time to time until the pine nuts are an even golden-brown colour. Take a portion of the gnocchi dough and roll it out on a floured surface into a sausage-like shape. Cut the dough into pieces about 1 cm in size. Roll these pieces into oval balls and press every ball lightly with the tines of a fork until the marks are visible on each piece – this gives the dough its typical gnocchi appearance.

4.) Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the gnocchi, and reduce the heat to a simmer. As soon as the gnocchi pieces rise to the surface, they are ready. Rinse the basil leaves in water. Arrange the spinach gnocchi with the tomato sauce on a plate and garnish with pine nuts and basil. Bon appétit!