Quick Ricotta Gnocchi Recipe & a Workshop
It was a wet and cold Saturday morning, the type of day you just want to stay in doors all cosy and warm eating comfort food, the perfect weather for a cooking workshop which is exactly what happened last weekend. I have always loved gnocchi but often it can be a be ‘gloopy and starchy’ from the potato, that’s why when I found this recipe I fell in love with immediately. The dough is made from only 4 main ingredients; ricotta, parmesan, egg and flour, with not a potato in site and because there is no pre cooking of potatoes it is incredible quick to make, about 15 minutes if you are buying the ricotta. Since ricotta is so expensive here in NZ to buy I make my own and have added the recipe for this also, yet another incredibly quick recipe with only two ingredients and two stages to making it.
We served our gnocchi that afternoon with two very easy to make sauces, sage butter with parmesan and a blue cheese sauce, both of which went down very well with a local NZ Shingle Peek Sav Blanc and made for a very cheerful afternoon despite the weather.
- 300 g Ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1/4-1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 30 g Parmesan (or Pecorino), freshly grated
- 75 – 100g g all-purpose flour, extra for dusting the dough/board
- Discard any excess liquid that the Ricotta’s packaging may contain, or if you make your own you might also have to blend it a little till smooth.
- Combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt and freshly grated Parmesan into a large bowl.
- Add the flour and stir in briefly until just combined, the dough should still be sticky.
- Generously flour a board and split the dough into three. dust one piece with flour and roll the dough out into a sausage shape about finger thickness.
- Cut into 1 inch pillow shapes as in photo with a sharp knife, flouring the knife if needed.
- Place the gnocchi pillows onto a floured tray and repeat process with the rest of the dough.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a generous pinch of salt and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add the gnocchi and stir once, so they don’t stick to the bottom – they will start floating once cooked which takes about 2 minutes.
- Once cooked add to the sauce and serve immediately.
Sage Butter & Parmesan Sauce
- 100g butter
- large handful of fresh sage leaves
- Shaved parmesan for serving
- Cracked black pepper for seasoning
- Place butter and sage leaves into a large frying pan on a low heat.
- Cook till butter starts to turn golden brown.
- Add cooked gnocchi to the butter and ensure each piece is covered in butter.
- Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.
Blue Cheese Sauce
- 50g blue cheese
- 150ml cream
- Cracked black pepper to season
- In a large frying pan add the butter and blue cheese.
- Cook on a low heat until the cheese has dissolved and the sauce has thickened.
- Add the cooked gnocchi to the frying pan and coat with cheese sauce.
- Serve and season with black pepper.
- 2-3 litres of pasturised full fat milk (it must not be homogenised milk as this in my experience doesn’t work)
- 4-6 tblsp white vinegar
- Put the milk in a solid bottom pan to prevent burning of the milk.
- Heat milk to almost boiling point over a medium heat, stir now and then to prevent burning, then turn heat off.
- Add the vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time and gently stir the milk in between each spoonful. Once the milk starts to curdle into a lot of lumps stop adding vinegar, this should happen at about 4-5 tablespoons.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes and then scoop curds out into into a clean tea (or muslin cloth) towel inside a colander.
- Place colander and contents into a large bowl or pan so the whey can drain freely and leave for several hours or over night.
- And what is left in your cloth is the ricotta.
- I find homemade ricotta needs a bit of a whiz with the blender to make it smooth for this recipe.