Saturday, July 02, 2005
I always greedily buy the huge container of ricotta cheese that Sam's club sells and try to use it up. Usually I end up throwing about half of it. I came across a recipe for ricotta gnocchi and knew that this was probably the only way of using up the cheese. My previous attempt at making potato gnocchi was horrible and I ended up with pebbles that were tasteless.
Knowing that ricotta gnocchi was the most temperamental type, I gave it a go. I also did not heed the advice from chefs to use them FRESH. I froze them all and used them today almost a week later. The result was unbelievably tasty and soft like a pillow. One thing I learned was making gnocchi is intuitive and the flour proportion stated in a recipe may be misleading. The dough for this is very sticky but resist the urge to add flour. I have adapted Mario Batali's recipe.
32 oz can of ricotta cheese (drain water by placing it in a strainer)
2-3 T grated parmesan
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp dried parsley or basil
1/2 a nutmeg, ground
1 cup flour (more or less as required)
Place the ricotta in a fine sieve over a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight. In a medium-sized bowl, stir the drained ricotta, 1 cup of the flour, the egg, parsley/basil, parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg together gently but thoroughly until a soft dough forms, adding a little more of the flour if the dough is sticky when poked.
Forming the gnocchi: dip 2 tablespoons in cool water. Using 1 spoon, scoop up a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture and use the other spoon to form it into a smooth, pointed oval. I rolled the mixture using wet hands that were slightly floured. A messy job! Place finished gnocchis on a well-floured plate. Refrigerate them until firm and use. Or freeze.
I served the gnocchis with a simple marinara sauce. I just wish the gnocchi gods are just as favorable next time around.
Posted by Mika at 7:58 PM