We went to our friend Bruno’s for dinner a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to have an impromptu gnocchi-making lesson. I’ve wanted to try my hand at gnocchi forever and have always thought it would be too difficult to get right, but Bruno was incredibly patient with me and I had a wonderful time learning from a master.
Being the curious thing that I am, my first try was not the potato gnocchi that he taught me, but ricotta gnocchi. It was simply divine. Soft pillows of delicate gnocchi smothered in a rich red sauce. I had a very happy family at the table tonight!
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup parmesan, finely grated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (more or less as needed)
Lightly flour a large sheet of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, eggs and parmesan until smooth.
Add the flour in ½ cup batches until the dough is soft but still slightly moist and sticky.
Flour your work surface and take a fist-sized lump of dough. Roll it out using well-floured hands into a rope, about 2cm across. Using a floured knife, cut rope into 2cm pieces. Place the pieces on the parchment, in a single layer and making sure they aren’t touching. Repeat until all the dough is done.
To cook, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi and let them cook until they rise to the top (about 2-3 minutes). Lift out of water with a slotted spoon. You’ll need to cook them in several batches so you don’t crowd the pot.
I put them in a metal bowl with a tight-fitting lid to keep them warm and moist, then when they were all done, topped them with a sauce of onion, garlic, red and yellow peppers, passata and basil, cooked for about 20 minutes then quickly puréed in the food processor.
Thank you, Bruno, for introducing me to the joys of gnocchi!