Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gnock, gnock, gnockin' on heavens door

Lynnylu from Cafe Lynnylu is this month's host of Hay Hay It's Donna Day #14, and she has chosen gnocchi as this month's theme ingredient.

I've only made gnocchi once before, and although I was quite proud of myself, it tasted like the old home made "glue" we used to make as kids, referred to as "clag", which was just a mixture of flour and water. So when Linnylu decided gnocchi was the theme, I thought now is my chance to try again.

This time, however, I went for a ricotta based gnocchi, based on this recipe from Jaden's steamy kitchen. I'm not sure if it was the mouth watering picture that drew me like a magnet, or Jaden's hilarious explanation of how she learnt to cook. Either way, I had great fun making it, and the family (minus my recently converted vegan daughter) devoured them off the plate. So what was supposed to be a "light" meal, turned into an entree for three. Kudos to Jorj, who adores gnocchi and who used to demolish a wheel of brie or camembert in record time....she never had a single one of these luscious little pillows.

Pan-Fried Lemon-Ricotta Gnocchi

1 cupwhole milk ricotta
1/2 cupfreshly grated parmegiano reggiano
(plus extra reserved for garnishing) (I used parmesan)
1 largeegg yolk
1 tsp lemon zest (use a microplane grater)
(plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1 tspkosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
(I only had sea salt so used a good pinch of that)
3/4 cupall purpose flour, sifted
1 tblspchopped parsley (plus extra reserved for garnishing)
1/2 tspfinely minced chilli (or red pepper flakes) -
adjust chilli based on your tastes
2 tblspclarified butter
(or just butter, but the clarified butter works much better)
(I used Ghee, which of course is clarifed butter)
1 tblspolive oil

1. Combine ricotta, parmegiano, yolk, zest and salt in large bowl. Mix well. Sprinkle half of the flour on the mixture, gently turn with spatula a few times to incorporate. Dump mixture on clean, lightly floured countertop. Sprinkle remaining flour on top of the mixture. Gently knead with your fingertips, just bringing together the mixture until flour is incorporated through. This only should take a minute or two. Any longer and you will be over-kneading. *If you are using skim milk ricotta - you may have to use more flour, as there is more water content in skim ricotta.
2. Divide dough into 4 parts. Take one part and roll into a long, 1" diameter log. Cut gnocchi into 1" pieces. You may use your wooden doobie-bopper or tines of a fork to get those pretty grooves that will eventually disappear after frying anyways. (I happened to find a "doobie-bopper" at the local trash and treasure market last weekend. I'm pretty sure it's what's known as a butter pat, for making homemade butter, but I now call it my gnocchi groover)

3. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil. when butter is just lightly browned, add gnocchi in single layer. Fry on one side for 2 minutes, flip. Add chilli. Fry other side for 1-2 minutes. Timing really depends on how big/thick your gnocchi is. Do a taste test - do you taste flour? Not done yet. Serve with a sprinkling of lemon zest, parmegiano and parsley.


Barbara said...

This looks wonderful Pam. I think the ricotta is so much easier to make then than the potato gnocchi. We have it more oftem now I've discovered Donnas recipe. Thanks for joining HHDD.

nicisme said...

I saw this recipe too and yours looks just as wonderful!

Kevin said...

This looks good. Ricotta and lemon sounds like a great combination for gnocchi.