Rustic Ricotta Gnocchi

Ricotta gnocchi with marinaraAfter recently updating my homemade ricotta cheese recipe, I ended up with a giant batch of ricotta to use up. I used some of it as a manicotti filling, put some in a small batch of lasagna, and used the rest of it making these delicious little pillows of ricotta gnocchi.

I used this recipe to make them, but added the “rustic” to the title to account for the oddly-shaped morsels I ended up with. Feel free to make them more uniformly shaped and “prettier,” but they will be equally delicious no matter how they look!

Rustic Ricotta Gnocchi
8 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs
½ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ t kosher salt
¼ t black pepper
¼ t ground nutmeg
1 C all-purpose flour, more as needed

In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg until well combined. Mix in 1 cup of flour, adding additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. The dough will be just a bit sticky to the touch, but should not stick to well-floured hands.

Option 1: Roll out the dough and cut into pieces
Take about a golf-ball sized piece of the dough and roll it by hand into a thick cylinder. Place the rolled dough onto a well-floured surface and roll out into a ½” thick rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. If not using right away, place them in the refrigerator on a lightly floured baking sheet until ready to use.

Option 2: Place dough in plastic bag and squeeze out pieces
An easier way to make the gnocchi is to put the dough into a plastic resealable bag, and just snip off one of the corners (about 1/2 inch). Gently squeeze the bag to push out the dough, and use a knife to lop it off, right into the boiling water.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add as many of the gnocchi that fit without overcrowding the pot. Give a quick stir so they don’t stick to each other, and cook about 2-3 minutes until they float to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place them in a colander to drain. Repeat with remaining gnocchi.

Serving suggestions: top with marinara or other pasta sauce; melt butter with fresh rosemary or sage (or any other fresh herb), then toss the gnocchi with the melted butter in the skillet; top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Step by Step Details

If you used my recipe for homemade ricotta cheese, gather a few simple ingredients together to transform it into gnocchi.

Ricotta gnocchi 002

In a large bowl, stir it all together until well combined. Then mix in 1 cup of flour, adding additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. The dough will be just a bit sticky to the touch, but should not stick to well-floured hands.

Ricotta gnocchi 010

Now you have two options for making the gnocchi: roll out the dough and and cut into pieces, or put the dough into a plastic resealable bag and snip off one of the corners (about 1/2 inch). Then you only need to gently squeeze the bag to push out the dough and use a knife to lop it off, right into the boiling water. I’ll show both methods below.

Option 1: Roll out the dough and cut into pieces

Roll about a golf-ball sized piece of dough into a thick cylinder. Place the rolled cylinders onto a well-floured surface and roll each into a ½” thick rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.

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Continue until all are cut to about the same size. If not using right away, place them in the refrigerator on a lightly floured baking sheet until ready to use.

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Option 2: Place dough in plastic bag and squeeze out pieces

An easier way to make the gnocchi is to put the dough into a plastic resealable bag, and just snip off one of the corners (about 1/2 inch).

Gently squeeze the bag to push out the dough, and use a knife to lop each piece off, right into the boiling water. (The trick to use a piece of string across the pot (second photo) did not work well. Just use a knife or fork and save yourself the hassle.)

To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop in about half of the gnocchi, or as many fit without overcrowding the pot.

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Give the pot quick stir so the gnocchi don’t stick to each other, and cook about 2-3 minutes until they float to the surface. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and place them in a colander to drain.

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Repeat with remaining gnocchi until all are cooked and drained.

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Now comes the fun – eating them! One way to serve them is with marinara or other pasta sauce.

Ricotta gnocchi with marinara

Another idea is to melt butter in a pan with fresh rosemary (or sage, or any other fresh herb). Bonus points if takes on an interesting shape as it melts.

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When the butter is melted and lightly browned, add the gnocchi to the skillet and toss; serve topped with the browned butter and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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And for you gnocchi adventurers: grill them! That’s right: carefully skewer the cooked gnocchi pieces, bright lightly with oil, and grill to get grill marks on each side.

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Rustic Ricotta Gnocchi

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