Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Foodie Files

When it comes to gnocchi, there are two major schools of thought- Team Ricotta and Team Potato.  Some people have really strong feelings for or against one or the other, but I'd say my allegiance is to Team Make And Cook Either One Properly And They're Delicious.  When it comes to making gnocchi from scratch, however, I'm tempted to lean towards Team Ricotta.  They're lighter, more flavorful and, quite frankly, the process itself is much easier.  The recipe below is the same one my rockstar chef father used this Thanksgiving and I'll tell you right now- we devoured it.  Good heavens...I just re-lived it.  So good.  

4 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (2 pounds)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/4 cups semolina flour 
1 1/4 cups whole grain organic pastry flour
Sea salt and White Pepper

For Sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup fresh sage
3 TBS finely crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Stir together ricotta, eggs, 11/2 cups of cheese and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. 

Add flour, stirring to form a soft, wet dough. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Shape dough on a well-floured surface with lightly floured hands into (1-inch-thick) ropes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces with a lightly floured knife. 

Put one layer on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet. You can make in advance and freeze if necessary.

Cook gnocchi in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water), adding a few at a time to pot and stirring occasionally, until they float and are cooked through (cut one in half to check), 3 to 4 minutes per batch.  Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain in colander.

Melt butter over medium-low heat and add sage and finely crumbled gorgonzola cheese.  Cook until golden brown, do not burn.  Toss gnocchi with brown butter in skillet and sprinkle with remaining Reggiano. 


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