Ricotta Gnocchi for Beginners

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Marco keeps a list of recipes that he would like me to make on our fridge. Ricotta gnocchi, a recipe I learned to make in Sicily, is one of Marco’s absolute favorites. Homemade gnocchi is very easy to make once you get the hang of it. To get little gnocchi pillows, it requires a gentle, deft hand. You may need additional flour if your ricotta is especially wet or the air is especially humid.¬†We like ours served with red sauce and sausages.

If you are on the east coast, search out some Maplebrook Farm Ricotta.

Ricotta Gnocchi

2 cups whole-milk ricotta (1 pound)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg (optional)
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, more for shaping and cutting

Stir together ricotta, eggs, cheese, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Add flour, stirring in as few strokes as possible, to form a soft, wet dough.

Working with a handful of dough at a time, shape dough on a well-floured surface with lightly floured hands into (1-inch-thick) ropes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces with a bench scraper or lightly floured knife. Transfer the cut gnocchi to  baking sheet lined with parchment, sprinkled with flour. Cut all the gnocchi before cooking.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add half of the gnocchi and stir ever so gently to prevent them from sticking together or sticking to the pot. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes per batch. The gnocchi will rise to the surface and puff up. Lift the cooked gnocchi out with a slotted spoon and drain in colander.

Toss the gnocchi with your favorite sauce. Or the the case of Maverick and Vincenzo, top with butter and more grated cheese. Brown butter and fresh herbs are also very good, especially if you add some roasted squash to the bowl.


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