homemade ricotta gnocchi

What better use of homemade ricotta than homemade fresh ricotta gnocchi?  I have never felt a particular loyalty to gnocchi – they have always felt too dense, too heavy.  That was, until I tried ricotta gnocchi.  They are so heavenly light that you forget that they are made of cheese.  I truly believe that this dish can transform even the most gnocchi adverse eater into a gnocchi loyalist.

Recipe continued after the jump…

Recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi {adapted from the truly inspirational Marcella Hazan}

Serves 4

  • 2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional cheese for serving
  • Whole nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. of fresh basil leaves, juillened

In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta and flour with a wooden spoon, mixing well.  Add the egg yolks, a tiny grating – about 1/8 teaspoon – of the fresh nutmeg, kosher salt and pepper to taste, and mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Take about 1/3 cup of mixture from the bowl at a time with floured hands, and shape into a long snake by rubbing with the palm of your hands against the work surface.  Ideally, the snakes should be no thicker than 1/2 inch.  Cut each snake into 1/2 inch pieces and place on a floured baking sheet.

Drop the gnocchi, a few at a time, into 4 to 5 quarts of boiling, salted water.  When the water returns to a boil, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, remove with a spider or slotted spoon, and transfer to a serving platter.  Spread over them some of the sauce you are using {see recipe below for an insanely tasty, easy tomato sauce}.  Drop more gnocchi into the pot and repeat process until all gnocchi are cooked.  When all gnocchi are done, pour the remainder of the sauce over them, turn them to coat well, and serve at once, with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil.

Recipe for Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter {from Marcella Hazan}

  • 2 c. canned Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half

Put canned tomatoes in a saucepan, add the butter, onion and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for 45 minutes or until the fat floats free from the tomato.  Stir from time to time, mashing any large pieces of tomato in the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.  Taste and correct for salt.  Discard the onion before adding the sauce to the prepared gnocchi.

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