Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ricotta Gnocchi


I've made gnocchi a couple of times in the past. Originally, I made it with potato. I didn't pay attention to the directions and they turned into jumbo gnocchi. I didn't know what to do with them so after Hubby said they tasted like dumplings I made chicken and dumplings...err chicken and jumbo gnocchi. Seriously, it was like I was cooking for the Jolly Green Giant! So after watching an episode of Italian at Home and seeing Giada make sweet potato gnocchi, I figured out the technique and tried it again, but this time with spinach because I didn't want to deal with having to cook potatoes and letting them cool prior to making the dough. The spinach gnocchi actually came out pretty good. I sauteed them with some olive oil and garlic and Hubby devoured them. Bambino was less than a year old so she munched on some small bites too.

It had been awhile since I made gnocchi and I remember how much Hubby liked them so I thought I'd try it again. A couple of months ago I found a recipe for easy ricotta gnocchi and since I had a whole container of ricotta cheese in the fridge, and no spinach, ricotta gnocchi it was! After having made gnocchi in the past and after having read the recipe from top to bottom, the process was pretty easy and it came out exactly like the photo! (A rare occurrence.)

I sauteed the gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, garlic and olive oil and they came out pretty good. Gnocchi in general is a little heavy for me, so I just prefer a couple of bites along with my meal. Bambino seemed to enjoy them and I think the most of it will be going in Hubby's lunch this week along with a sandwich. (Mr.Carnivorous Carnivore needs meat with his meals, even though he often denies this, but sans a meat in his lunch he'll come home ravenous.)

Click here for the original recipe.

Ingredients:
1- 16oz container ricotta cheese (I used fat-free)
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4-1 cup all purpose flour

Directions:

1. Set a strainer with three coffee filters, or three pieces of paper towels and dump out ricotta cheese and let drain for an hour. (Shhh. I cheated and only strained it for 30 minutes.)

2. In a large bowl mix the strained ricotta, egg, cheese, salt and 3/4 cup flour until all ingredients are incorporated. If needed, add in last 1/4 cup of flour. (I had to because the dough was quite sticky with only 3/4 cup flour. At first I used a spatula, then used my hands to knead the dough.) Wrap dough in saran wrap and place in fridge for 15 minutes. (I've only posted photos of the dough making process because it can be very intimidating.)

Post kneading/mixing

Saran wrapped and ready for the fridge!

3. Once taken out of the fridge lay on a floured surface and cut dough into 4 pieces.

Divided into four.

4. Before shaping, put a large pot of water to boil and also take out a floured baking pan. Take one of your pieces, divide into two and roll out into a log formation. Then cut into 1 inch pieces. You can leave them in the little pillow shape, or you can shape them into the traditional gnocchi shape by rolling them off of a fork. Place gnocchi on floured baking sheet.

Rolling the dough.

Chopping the dough.

 Gnocchi fork roll: Step 1

Gnocchi fork roll: Step 2

Gnocchi fork roll: Step 3

The floured baking sheet.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Add in half of the gnocchi. Carefully stir the gnocchi to prevent sticking. When the gnocchi float to the top, let sit for 2-3 minutes before taking them out of the water and placing them in a colander. Repeat with second half.

6. Toss gnocchi with sauce immediately. You can toss with a marinara sauce or, as I did, sauteed some garlic and cherry tomatoes in olive oil and threw in the gnocchi as soon as they were ready.

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 6
Don't be intimidated with working with dough. This is really not that difficulty to do. It takes the most amount of time to roll the dough into logs and shape, otherwise it's all pretty easy.

This is the third time I've made gnocchi and when I make it again I'll make it with ricotta cheese. It literally is the easiest of them all to make! Also, you can impress people with your dough making prowess. 

1 comment:

  1. Yes gnocci seem easy but a litlle error can make them or too soft or to rubbery.Greta idea with riccota;)

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