Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ricotta Gnocchi

I've recently taken a liking to the new-ish cooking show on Food Network, The Kitchen.  I was a little unsure at first, but the more I get to know the hosts the more I love the show.  The bro-mance between Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey Zakarian is just so amusing, and I always look forward to Katie's outfits and also like to see how many time she mentions "kale" or "that's really healthy" in an episode. 

Each episode features GZ sharing a sunday supper recipe, and last weekends segment was all about homemade ricotta gnocchi.  GZ has enlightened me - who knew how simple it was to make such an impressive, decadent dish?  


I wasn't sure if I could trust GZ, since he's an iron chef and all, but making this at home truly was as simple as it looked on TV.  What's nice about gnocchi is that it requires no special equipment.  Just a counter top and your hands! 


If you haven't had ricotta gnocchi, it's almost like a fluffy, lighter version of traditional potato gnocchi, and the dough feels like a soft pillow. 



I served mine with a simple tomato sauce, but there is plenty of opportunity to get creative. 



Ingredients (adapted from foodnetwork.com):
*2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese
*1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
*1.5 tbsp olive oil
*2 large eggs
* 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
*1 tsp. salt

Sauce:
* 1 tbsp. olive oil
*1 garlic clove, minced
* 1/4 c. onion, minced
* 1 (26 oz) container San Marzano Crushed Tomatoes
*fresh basil, for serving
*salt, pepper

To prepare the gnocchi, whisk together ricotta, parmesan, salt, olive oil, and gets in a bowl.  Using a spatula to stir, mix in the flour in three separate batches (the dough will be VERY sticky - use lots of flour on your hands and surface when rolling it out).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust it with flour (GZ used semolina flour for this part, but I didn't want to buy it just for one purpose and all-purpose flour seemed to work just fine).  Flour your hands as well as a work surface and pinch off about a quarter of the dough.  Roll the dough into a log about 5/8 inches thick, then cut it into individual gnocchi 5/8 inches long (so you have a nice square), and set aside on the floured baking sheet. Boil the gnocchi for 2 minutes, or until they float, and add directly to the sauce. 

To prepare the sauce, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion and sauté until soft and fragrant.  Add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until ready to serve.  

Serve gnocchi topped with chopped basil and parmesan cheese.  Enjoy! 






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