Friday 6 March 2015

RICOTTA & PARMESAN GNOCCHI with garlic and herbed butter


Gnocchi's are small Italian dumplings that  are traditionally made  from flour,
potatoes, cheese however can also be made from semolina, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and even polenta.
Gnocchi which is similar to pasta originates mostly from northern parts of Italy. These soft pillowy morsels are very simple to make at home and are irresistible when baked with just a simple tomato sauce or tossed in a pesto or my personal  favourite garlic and herbed butter sauce.

Today's recipe for Gnocchi is with Ricotta and Parmesan Cheese. Here goes the recipe with step by step picture demonstration.

To make Ricotta and Parmesan Gnocchi you will need :

500 grams ricotta cheese (you may also use homemade cottage cheese, drained in this recipe)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1-11/4 cups of plain flour, extra for rolling.
Seasalt or cooking salt and freshly ground peppers for seasoning
2 tsp Fresh or dried herbs of your choice, I used dried parsley, oregano and chives

METHOD: In a bowl take ricotta cheese and herbs. Crumble all together making sure no lumps remain.

Step 2:Add parmesan cheese

Step 3: Add Plain flour

Step 4: Add 2 eggs and mix everything together to combine. The dough will be very sticky at this stage. make sure there are no big lumps from the cheese.

Step 4: the dough will look like this

Step 5: Now flour a wooden board or your work surface
Step 6: Knead the dough well on the flour surface to form a log like this in the picture.
Step 6: using a knife cut the dough into four equal parts.
Step 7:Now start rolling each portion into ropes  as shown in the picture below. It should be of uniform thickness.
Step 8:Now cut out each rope into small portions as you can see in the picture below and roll them into little oblong shape.

Like this :
Step 8 : Now press each of these morsels with the back of your fork to impart ridged pattern typical of gnocchis.
So your gnocchis are now ready to cook. At this stage they are cooked similarly like pasta. Into the salted boiling water immediately after you make them. Alternatively you may freeze these gnocchis for a couple of weeks. Just freeze them in freezer or sandwich bags and cook them straight out of the freezer. But it is always recommended to savour these morsels fresh when once you have made them.
Step 9:Now boil water with lots of salt in a saucepan
Step 10: Reduce heat, and when the bubbling settles a bit carefully drop in the gnocchis. 
Step 11:You will know the gnocchis are cooked when they start to float on the surface which should not take more than 2-3 minutes. Any overcooking the gnocchis will start breaking down. Remove your gnocchis carefully using a slotted spoon.


 Now let's make the Garlic and Herbed Butter. You can  use any herb of your choice, fresh or dried. I have used a combination of dried parsley, chives and oregano. And this is one of my favourite sauces to serve with gnocchi.
To make my Garlic and Herbed Butter you will need :
2-3 tbspoons of unsalted butter
3 tbspoons of chopped/sliced garlic
1tablespoon of Olive oil
a pinch of chilli flakes
3 tablespoons of parsley, oregano or chive or a combination of herbs.
2-3 tbspoons red capsicum finely chopped
1 tablespoons of white wine vinegar (white wine vinegar can be substituted with white wine nad lemon juice or just lemon juice on it's own)
2 tablespoons of the pasta water (used to cook gnocchi)
METHOD: Warm butter on low heat in a saucepan. Add the olive oil
Step 2 : Throw in garlic ,chilli flakes and herbs. When they start to sizzle add the chopped red capsicum
Step 3:Add white wine vinegar or white wine and let the sauce boil on medium flame. Finish off with some lemon juice if using. turn off heat.
Step 4:Add the Gnocchi and toss gentle to coat with the sauce. 
transfer into a serving bowl for health and happiness. Makes a delectable kids friendly meal and quiet filling too.

If you like you may stir fry some chicken, mushrooms or even seafood like prawns and add to the sauce. Add them at step 2.

Garnish with some more grated parmesan and drizzle some olive oil. Enjoy a mouthful of these delicious morsels in silky butter sauce that is loaded with flavour. 

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