When you have a great gnocchi dish it’s just about the best thing ever. It’s amazingly light and airy and just melts in your mouth. Paired with a brown butter sage sauce. It’s a texture taste combo that I often crave. However, more often than not, I find when I order gnocchi, it comes back heavy and dense and absolutely smothered in cream. Not a very good combination to say the least. So you can understand when I say I’ve always been a bit nervous to try making these doughy pillows myself.
So in hopes of avoiding failure, I decided to go with these ricotta gnocchi. They’re slightly easier and more often lighter than their potato based counterparts.
Just like everything thing else I’ve been avoiding making, these were super easy and turned out great! The trick is to knead only as much as needed. The more you knead, the tougher the dough becomes, resulting in a heavy doughy product. The ricotta automatically adds a bit of airiness to these and makes them taste lovely and creamy too.
They are super quick to make despite their reputation and are great for a quick weeknight meal. Don’t wait like me, give them a go!
- 1 lb of ricotta
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- a touch of grated nutmeg
- 2 cups of plain flour
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 large onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic unpeeled
- 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
- pinch of red chili flakes
- large handful of fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
Begin by preparing the sauce so its ready when the gnocci is fresh. Heat the oven to 350 F. Quarter the tomatoes and place on a large baking tray. Chop the onion in to small pieces and add to the tomatoes. Throw in the cloves of garlic and then cover everything well with the olive oil. Place in the hot oven and bake until soft and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Once cooked, heat a bit of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Throw in the pinch of chili flakes and cook for about a min or so. Then throw in all the roasted ingredients, making sure to squeeze out the creamy goodness from the garlic cloves, throwing the skins away. Add in a handful of roughly chopped basil and season to taste. Cook till just heated through and saucy, about 5 minutes.
Now you can get started on the gnocci. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta, oil and the egg. Then add in the parmesan and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Next, sift the flour into the mixture, a bit at a time and mix till combined.
Tip the contents of the bowl out onto a floured surface and get stuck in. Work the dough until it is smooth making sure not to over knead. Once smooth, cut the ball of dough into 5-6 slices and roll each slice into a long rope. You will want them to be about 1/2 inch thick. Then cut the ropes up into 1 inch sections and place onto a lightly floured baking tray.
When finished, bring a large pot to a boil and generously salt. Drop in the gnocci and stir a couple times so they don’t all stick together. They’re ready when they float to the top, so fish them out using a slotted spoon or a mesh wire spoon.
Plate immediately and cover with sauce. Eat while piping hot!