As if being part of Daring Bakers wasn't enough, I decided to also join Daring Cooks. The first challenge was to make Ricotta Gnocchi. Once I found out what the challenge was, I felt pretty confident I'll be able to make it. Why? Because I've made regular gnocchi in the past and liked how they turned out.
Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi
Source: From The Zuni Café Cookbook.
Yield: Makes 40 to 48 gnocchi (serves 4 to 6)
For the gnocchi:
1 pound fresh ricotta
2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted
½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
all-purpose flour for forming the gnocchi
I halved the recipe and added zest of one lemon, black pepper and sea salt to my gnocchi. I also used bread flour instead of all-purpose flour because that's what I had on hand.
Directions (I must confess I cheated a bit and formed my gnocchi the same way I made the potato ones, instead of rolling them in the flour. Directions below are not "official", but rather what I did.)
1. 24 hours before making gnocchi, line a sieve with paper towels, add your ricotta, and let the extra liquid drain over a bowl for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
2. In a bowl combine ricotta, slightly beaten egg(s), salt, Parmesan, black pepper and lemon zest.
3. Add enough flour so that you'll be able to form gnocchi (similar to forming meatballs).
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Drop 5-10 gnocchi at a time (depending on the width of your pot) and let them cook for about 3-5 minutes. Once the gnocchi are done, they will rise to the top.
As far as the sauce goes, I decided to do something very simple. I added quartered cherry tomatoes, torn basil leaves, a bit of olive oil, Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper. I did not want to make a heavy tomato sauce because I wanted the lemony taste of gnocchi to shine.
Thoughts: I was very pleased with how this recipe came out. It was so much easier to make than the potato ones because you did not need to "rice" anything. Next time I think I'll try to make this recipe with all-purpose flour for a more tender texture.