My must make soon list grows longer as each day whizzes past and I rather hate to admit things often get taken off as they’ve sat so long on it, I’ve lost the enthusiasm to cook them. It’s not intentional. In fact my intentions would see any Domestic Goddess proud. You see, I’m a big daydreamer, a hopeless romantic whom wears her heart on her sleeve. All too often, I am carried away to a far off place of my own creation, lost but in no hurry to get home and carry on with chores. Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi had almost reached the point of no return until this week when I took the plunge upon getting home at a very decent hour and having cleaned the kitchen to health inspector standards before I started.
For all my love of kitchen gadgets like my Candy Apple KitchenAid, there is something so… primal, so basic and refreshing about mixing a bowlful of ingredients together with a wooden spoon until they combine into a supple, soft dough. This recipe really is as simple as that and oh my, is it good to eat. My foodie friend Graziella kindly gave me the recipe and I’ve made very minimal tweaks to it as it’s perfect as it stands. And not to mention so much faster and easier to knock together than the potato version of gnocchi.
Creamy white gnocchi dumplings that take barely a few minutes to cook are the perfect vehicle for lots of luscious sauce. You can go simple and stick with butter and sage or maybe a snooker table slick of garish green fresh pesto. Equally, I’m happy to whip up a tomato based sauce such as I may serve with pasta, which is part of the beauty of gnocchi – plain but comforting as all flour based carbs are. The ricotta gives a gentle creaminess and the parmesan works as a seasoning really. I thoroughly recommend plenty of freshly grated parmesan on top no matter whatever way you go.
- 250 g ricotta drained for at least 30 mins in a sieve lined with muslin/kitchen roll
- 2 tbsp heaped finely grated parmesan
- 1 cup plain flour plus extra for rolling
- 1 tsp mustard powder or Dijon mustard
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients until they form a soft not sticky dough. Try to handle as little as possible to avoid over working and toughening the dough.
Divide the dough into quarters and roll out into long sausages 2-3 cm thick on a very well floured surface. Be gentle!
Chop into 1 inch long pieces, roll into a ball between your palms then flatten with a fork to give the characteristic ridged appearance to your gnocchi.
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil then in batches, drop in your gnocchi. They are cooked when they float to the surface – this will be 1-3 minutes depending on how big you made them and how hot the water is. You want a rolling boil to plop them into.
Fish out with a slotted spoon, shaking well to drain. Serve with a sauce of your choice. Why not try my slow cooker full bodied tomato sauce, red or green pesto or some browned butter and sage for an indulgent but simple dinner?
You can freeze the gnocchi raw and cook from frozen – they will take only a couple of extra minutes to do so.
Adapted from my friend Graziella's own recipe
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