Here’s a different way to make ricotta gnocchi from my previous Ricotta Gnocchi with Scampi Tails. This comes from the brilliant Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers. The book is packed with great descriptions of method. Whereas the previous recipe mixed the ricotta with flour, this one simply rolls the cheese mixture in flour.
500g ricotta, well drained. I used local Blue Bay Cheese which was smooth and dry – perfect.
2-3 handfuls spinach leaves
2 large eggs, cold – gently beaten
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives (not in recipe)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan or grana padano
Option chopped bacon
Saute the spinach leaves with some butter and a little salt until slightly wilted. (I blanched mine). Squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Chop finely, then again squeeze out excess liquid.
Place the flour in a tray or on a plate. Judy has a detailed description of how to gently loosen the cheeses and then mix and whisk it all together. I just mixed it all gently with my hands. Take about a heaped dessertspoon of mixture and shape it gently into an oblong shape, then roll it in the flour and place on baking paper.
The mixture made about 40 gnocchi, enough for 3-4 people.
Place in the fridge to set for an hour.
Note: My first batch almost fell apart (OK, some did). I rolled the second batch in flour again before I cooked them and they hung together.
Cook in gently simmering water for 2-3 minutes until they rise to the top. Don’t put more in the pot than will loosely cover the base. Stir the water gently after about 30 seconds in case any have stuck to the bottom.
Judy just serves her gnocchi with melted butter, but I made a sage and burnt butter sauce. Add 1/3-1/2 cup of butter to pan with 8-10 sage leaves. Saute until the leaves are crispy and the butter is brown.
Drain the gnocchi well and serve immediately with some butter, crispy sage leaves and cracked black pepper.
Optional: add chopped bacon on top.