Easy Ricotta Gnocchi
I have recently discovered, thanks to 8ateateight.com, a melt-in-your-mouth, simple-to-prepare Italian ricotta gnocchi recipe that produces gnocchi much lighter than their potato cousins. You can make them up in 10 minutes, freeze them, then cook them to order. Make sure you have a good quality ricotta cheese, like the one photographed below, which can be purchased at Les Amis du Fromage. I served them with tomato sauce (recipe following) or you can sauté them in butter and sage, or toss them with pesto, or meat sauce, or…
Ricotta Gnocchi (makes 4 servings)
1 lb. fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
about 1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
2 c. flour, sifted
Mix ricotta, egg and olive oil in a large bowl. Add cheese and nutmeg and mix well. Gradually add sifted flour, stirring until the dough starts to come together. Place on a floured surface and knead gently just until the dough is no longer sticky. Cut slices of the dough with a sharp knife, then roll each slice into a long rope, about 3/4″ thick. Cut into 1″ pieces, place on a lightly floured baking sheet and put them in the freezer.
If you are making them ahead of time, put them into a plastic freezer bag as soon as they have frozen. To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the gnocchi. When they rise to the top, scoop them out with a slotted spoon or strainer, shake off excess water, and place in a serving bowl or directly onto warmed dinner plates. Top with tomato sauce and fresh parmesan.
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1-28oz. can Italian tomatoes (preferably San Marzano tomatoes)
8 basil leaves
2 T. chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil leaves, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Put mixture through a food mill, or pureé in a food processor. Add the chopped basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Here is a variation of the above recipe:
Ricotta Gnocchi Pomodoro with Prosciutto and Arugula
1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes
2 T. olive oil
1 T. chopped garlic
Salt and pepper
Crushed chile flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
6 slices prosciutto
2 c. baby arugula
a few drizzles of good quality olive oil
1 recipe Ricotta Gnocchi
To make the sauce: Take the tomatoes out of the can, chop them and reserve the juice separately. In a saucepan, add olive oil and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and salt, pepper and chile flakes to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes, adding some of the reserved juice. Add the cream and simmer until sauce is thickened.
Cook the gnocchi, drain well, and place in a large heated bowl. Toss with hot tomato sauce and portion out onto 6 plates. Garnish with fresh parmesan, prosciutto and arugula and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.