Monday, November 1, 2010

Ricotta Gnocchi

Ricotta gnocchi sounds delicious, doesn't it?  It brings to mind light, fluffy, pillowy goodness.  And when I found this recipe on Mark Bittman's blog on the NY Times, I couldn't resist making it.  Who knew homemade gnocchi was so easy to make?  Anyway, these gnocchi were pillowy and delicious, but they were far from light.  Instead they were very rich.  And I mean very very rich.  Then again, if I had really thought about it, I would have expected them to be rich - they were essentially made of cheese (ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano), eggs, and flour, and then tossed with butter.  It's kind of a given that they would be rich.  I have had actual potato gnocchi that somehow seemed lighter to me (or at least less rich).  But, regardless of how rich they were, these gnocchi are delicious and full of cheesy goodness.  I think I will add a few more sage leaves in the future (we used the 10 that Mark Bittman called for) because I didn't get quite as much sage flavor as I wanted.  Instead the dish tasted almost exclusively of browned butter and cheese.  Which isn't really a bad thing if you think about it...

Recipe after the jump!

Ricotta Gnocchi
By Mark Bittman

One 15-ounce container ricotta cheese, preferably whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 to 1 cup flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 or more sage leaves.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Combine the ricotta, eggs and Parmesan in a large bowl, along with some salt and pepper. Add about 1/2 cup flour and stir; add more flour until the mixture forms a very sticky dough. Scoop up a spoonful of dough and boil it to make sure it will hold its shape; if it does not, stir in a bit more flour.

Put the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When it melts and turns a nutty brown color, add the sage. While it fries, drop the ricotta mixture by the rounded tablespoon into the boiling water, working in batches of six or so at a time so as not to overload the pot.

When the gnocchi rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the skillet. When all the gnocchi are done, toss, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve immediately.

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