How to Make Ricotta Gnocchi
Gnocchi, just the name of this Italian pasta, is enough to send a wave of memories flooding back to you. You may remember Mum and Grandma making them by hand, sitting down to a delectable dish in a restaurant, or maybe you still enjoy the comforting experience of gnocchi on your plate. Either way, gnocchi is a great favourite that always retains appeal to diners who enjoy Italian cuisine.
Making gnocchi is easier than you might think. Much faster to make than traditional gnocchi, as you might surprise yourself with just how good you are at creating these little morsels of joy. There is no compromise when it comes to flavour, and you can serve it with any of your favourite sauces. I’ve chosen to smother my ricotta gnocchi in tomato and basil sauce – the perfect partner for these cheesy delights.
Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Ricotta Gnocchi
You can FREEZE it.
You can freeze your gnocchi using a flat tray which you put straight into the freezer, and once frozen, transfer to a zip lock bag or air-tight container.
Bring back your Play-Doh days.
Think back to your childhood when you spent hours spinning ropes of Play-Doh. That’s an excellent method to keep in mind when preparing Gnocchi balls.
Cut the pasta equally.
Cutting the gnocchi into similar pieces helps to equal the cooking time. A bench scraper comes in handy for this.
- Wooden bench
- Rolling pin
- Mixing bowl
- Pastry cutter or Sharp knife
- 500 grams Ricotta 17.63oz. Dry variety or strain overnight in the fridge to release excess liquid
- 1 Organic egg
- 3-4 tbsp Pecorino cheese
- 300 grams ’00 plain flour 10.58oz
- Ricotta gnocchi are fast to make, so first up, add your ricotta to a bowl and start working it with a fork.
- Crack an egg into the middle of the ricotta, beat well and mix through.
- Add a good sprinkle of flour and start to combine, before also adding the pecorino cheese.
- Pour in a portion of the plain flour at a time, so you allow it to combine before adding more.
- Once you have added the rest of the flour and most of it is stuck to your ricotta gnocchi dough, transfer it on to a wooden board and start to knead it – just don’t be too rough!
- Keep kneading until the ricotta gnocchi dough softens, is not sticky to touch and has started to smooth out.
- Create a ball and leave it to the side, covered with a bowl for 3-5 minutes.
- During this time, boil 5L water in a large pot (once this boils, add a pinch of sea salt) so it is ready when you are to cook the ricotta gnocchi.
- Once 5 minutes have passed, dust the board with some flour and put the ricotta gnocchi dough on top.
- Using a rolling pin, roll gently forward and back until you flatten the dough to around 1 inch thickness.
- Cut this into strips (horizontal) and roll each one into round snake-like shapes before using a pastry cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into small pillows.
- As you cut the gnocchi, lightly dust them with flour and transfer them to a lined tray so they are ready to be cooked right away or transferred in the freezer.
- If you make them fresh, once water boils, add the ricotta gnocchi (portion is 2 handfuls per person, they’re much lighter than their potato cousin!) and when they rise to the top, strain them right away.
- On the side, have a pan ready with your favourite sauce, transfer the gnocchi straight in, mix through –GENTLY! – and serve hot!
How to serve Ricotta Gnocchi
The classic way to serve this pasta dish is to slather in rich tomato sauce. Try my delicious Tomato and Basil sauce with your gnocchi, and don’t forget to add a few extra sprinkles of pecorino cheese…!
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