Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ricotta Gnocchi

I LOVED my first Daring Cooks challenge. The gnocchi was light and fresh and full of flavor. And, I have to say it was much simpler than I thought it would be. I've made potato gnocchi before which was also delicious, but this was far better! Also, far richer, but hey, once in a while, this is a great indulgence.

I couldn't find fresh ricotta, so used store-bought. Next time, I think I'll try it with paneer. Maybe it might even work with non-fat paneer? Hmm.


Ricotta Gnocchi
(recipe from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook)

2 cups fresh Ricotta
2 large cold Eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp Butter, melted
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1/4 tsp Salt
All-Purpose Flour for rolling the gnocchi

Tie the ricotta in a muslin cloth and strain it overnight. It took me the night and the entire next day to finally strain all the water out of the ricotta. I resorted to placing a heavy weight on the muslin cloth, which really helped.

Place the drained ricotta in a bowl and mash slightly with the back of a spoon to make it smooth. Add the beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Add melted butter, cheese and salt and combine to get a smooth and fluffy mixture. Add any flavorings you'd like, though try to keep it simple since you don't want to weigh down the cheese. I kept it simple without any additions.

Make a bed of all-purpose flour about a 1/4" thick on a baking sheet or tray. Also put a saucepan of water, heavily salted, on the stove and let it begin to simmer.

Take about 2-3 tsps of the mixture and gently push it out onto the bed of flour. With the spoon or the tip of your finger roll the cheese over the flour, so most parts of it get coated with a thin film of flour. Gently pick up the cheese and cradle it in both hands and move it from one hand to another being careful not to squeeze too tight or the gnocchi won't be light. Try to get the gnocchi into an oval shape.

Gently lower the gnocchi into the simmering water. It will sink and then rise to the top. Let it cook for about 3-5 minutes. If the gnocchi falls apart, there was too much water in the ricotta - add one egg white to the mixture and beat it in - that should hold it together.

If it doesn't fall apart (mine didn't), then great. Go ahead and make the rest of the cheese into gnocchi and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let it rest in the refrigerator for an hour and firm up.


Bring the water back up to a simmer and slip 3-4 gnocchi into the water at a time and cook for 3-5 minutes (as in the test done earlier). Remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve warm with your choice of sauce. I really wanted to do pesto, but was afraid it might be too heavy. So I just drizzled with a little bit of olive oil and grated some fresh Parmesan on top with some black pepper.


I don't think there's any doubt I'll make this again. It was simple and delicious and a sure crowd-pleaser. Thanks to Ivonne and Lisa for a wonderful first challenge and I'm excited to be part of the Daring Cooks!

39 comments:

Junglefrog said...

Yours definitely look a lot firmer then mine! I thought it was quite a lot of work, but yes, the taste was lovely so that made the whole thing worth it! Yours looks good too!!

Parita said...

Wow that looks quite a lot of work...i dont think i can even manage to do the half..great work dear :)

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Oh look at those gnocchi amazing... nicely made but its definitely a lotta work to do the end result is worth taking the pain!!

Happy cook said...

Wow you mad ehome made gnocchi, that must have tastesd so good, i have only made from shop made ones.

rachel said...

Part of daring cooks too? Way to go Arundathi!

A_and_N said...

OMG! How did you get them so perfect? Ours broke down :(

But pic looks good ;) We made ricotta on our own. I guess there was moisture and all that!

I love the colour on your Anadama and congrats on the milestone as well :)

Also, I'm not a wolverine :D Just A is. And you are in his good books without doing a THING!

Anula said...

Your gnocchi look yummy! And I love the last photo :)

Cheri said...

I love the texture of your Gnocchi in that last shot. It makes me want to take the next bite! Delicious!

pinkstripes said...

YUM! Your gnocchi look great! I'm sure they were very very delicious.

Karen said...

Aren't they just gorgeous pillows of goodness? Glad you liked the challenge! Can't wait till the next one!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Youir gnocchi look wonderful! They were so much lighter than the ones I usually make. I like the variations I'm seeing as I check Daring Cooks blogs.

Bharti said...

Wow..they turned out so good! Pillows of foodie heaven yes.

Lien said...

These look really delicious! So another Daring project started... there'll be a lot of great food in the blogosphere!

lisamichele said...

Your gnocchi came out fantastic..so perfectly formed and 'billowy'. Mine went kaput, but that's the way the ricotta gnocchi sometimess bounces..lol

Priya said...

Tremendous...gnocchi looks fabulous Arundathi!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Well done first challenge! I'd love to see your paneer version too.

Christie's Corner said...

Mine were very light, too, but I didn't find them flavorful. I think the cheese I used wasn't the best brand.

Seems the best results came from homemade ricotta. Think I'll be giving that a try someday soon.

Lauren said...

Mmm, your gnocchi look so fluffy!! Awesome job on the first challenge =D.

anudivya said...

Love thelast pic... looks so spongy and light, which is a sign of a great Gnocchi.

Superchef said...

have made ricotta gnudi before..and im planning to make some potato gnocci next week..this one looks great. Light and fluffy!

Audax said...

These little pillows of yuummmmmm are so worth it. And your looks so good I want to lick the screen. Bravo on a great effort. You photos are so cute. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

delhibelle said...

oh yum!

Arundathi said...

THANKS EVERYONE!!

Rachel - Yeah! Call me crazy!

A&N - Yeah, I'm backing A too, btw! We wolverines gotta stick together!

Lien - Happy to be baking with you! :)

Lisamichele - lol!!

Susan - Will definitely try a non-fat paneer version - might have to drain it for a week though! lol!

Christie's Corner - I think I might have to try my hand at making home made ricotta too.

Eat My Cake Now said...

Your photos are awesome!
I'd love to see your paneer version too.
Great job!
isa

Curry Leaf said...

Love ricotta gnocchi. and will wait for your panner version as well.Good Job

CRUISNDIVA said...

Great job on our first challenge! Your gnocchi look simply delicious!

Megan said...

Wow! Yours look like they had a nice thick texture... quite a departure from what I ended up with. Congrats on the first challenge!

♥Rosie♥ said...

WOW homemade gnocchi - bravo to you my friend.

Rosie x

alana said...

Beautiful! I think paneer gnocchi sounds great, too.

bee said...

low-carb gnocchi. how awesome is that!!!

IsolatedFoodie said...

Mmmmm...that last picture is really what this challenge was all about.

Christine said...

Even though I'm not in the gnocchi fan camp, your pictures tempt me! Awesome job and thank you for the well wishes for my cat! :-)

The Shulls said...

Oh my... those are a piece of art!!!!! They look simply perfect, what a great job done!!!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog :)

Chickiedoodle said...

LOVE the last shot of a bite taken out! Do try the pesto next time... I'm thinking the lightness of these little nibbles stays light with light sauces, but steps up the challenge of stronger flavors by becoming stronger itelf.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

That looks like a def crowd please & very yum. I think I've finally got a handle on home made ricotta after my Daring Cooks bits that floated away. Made another batch & that turned out right! Yours are yum...& I love the light topping! The last picture has my face stuck on the screen!!

Jamie said...

Arundathi, the gnocchi looks great. I forgot to tell you that I tried your potato gnocchi recipe and it came out great. I had my whole family thinking I was so super chef extraordinaire! I will have to give this one a try :)

Arundathi said...

Eat my Cake Now -Thanks. Will do the paneer version soon hopefully

Curry Leaf - Thanks!

Cruisndiva - Thanks. I really enjoyed it

Megan - I think it was all in the draining of the ricotta

Rosie - Thanks a lot, rosie.

Alana - Yes, have to try the paneer version soon

Bee - Yup, low card but high fat, I think. Unless you use low fat cheese.

IsolatedFoodie - Thanks - had to get a picture of that!

Christine - :) Hope he's fully recovered now

The Shulls - Loved your blog. Thanks.

Chickiedoodle - Will definitely try the pesto next time. These little guys absorb any flavor, so it might be really nice with pesto too.

Deeba - Oh I'm so glad the second batch came out well! Congratulations!

Jamie - Thats great!! I'm so glad you tried it!! The ricotta is so much nicer than the potato version - do try it.

Aparna said...

So you are Daring Cook. Congratulatins and those gnocci look delicious. Maybe I should sign up?

Arundathi said...

Aparna - Do sign up! Thanks!