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Shaun in TO

This is the only one I make anymore. Light, freezes well. Everyone loves them.

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Joined: Mar 12, 2006

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Posted to Thread #13742 at 9:36 pm on Feb 10, 2009

I thought I'd posted it here but it doesn't come up in any searches. Use the freshest, best quality ricotta you can find. Supermarket ones often have stabilizers and other gunk in them. A quality cheese shop would sell a good one. Best is sheep's or buffalo milk.

Ricotta Gnocchi

Serves 4 (as main) or 6 (as starter)

8 oz fresh ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup bread flour (although all-purpose will work too)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the gnocchi ingredients together, by hand or in a mixer with the paddle. The dough will be a bit sticky. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Lightly flour your work surface. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 parts. Flour your hands, and roll one piece of dough into a slender log about 1/2 inch wide. Using a sharp knife (and dipping it in flour if it starts to stick), cut this log into bite-sized pieces--about 1/2 inch. Place on baking sheet lined with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.

If you like, you can shape the gnocchi by rolling them over the tines of a fork or along a wooden gnocchi press.

The gnocchi can be kept, chilled, for several hours until you plan to cook them, or freeze them on the baking sheets. Frozen gnocchi are much easier to handle -- just dump the bag into the boiling water.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until they rise to the surface--just a couple of minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the hot water for the sauce if needed.

Spring Peas and Mint Sauce

1 small onion, minced
1/2 garlic clove, minced
1 oz pancetta, finely diced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green peas
Several leaves of fresh mint, finely sliced into a chiffonade

Saute the onion, garlic and pancetta in the oil until the onion wilts and the pancetta begins to crisp slightly. Add the peas along with some of the reserved cooking water if needed to form a sauce consistency. The peas will take just a couple of minutes to cook. Serve garnished with the fresh mint.

Variations:
Add a splash of cream to the sauce.

Many other vegetables work in place of peas--zucchini, asparagus, fava beans, winter squash, sweet peppers, etc. Follow the season. Mint goes well with spring and early summer vegetables; zucchini and peppers go with basil; sage goes with winter squash.

From "Piano, Piano, Pieno: Authentic Food from a Tuscan Farm," by Susan McKenna Grant.


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