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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

I saw this recipe in the NY Times and decided to try it out. I actually had a recipe from my grandmother for ricotta gnocchi and wanted to see how the Times stood up to it. Here’s a YouTube video.

Ricotta Gnocchi Are Sticky and Lumpy (and Just Right)

By MARK BITTMAN
Published: October 22, 2010

YOU think you know what gnocchi are: small, fork-tine-indented potato dumplings served with pesto or tomato sauce. They’re starchy, thick and filling, and rarely made well enough at home to justify the work.

But gnocchi don’t have to be only that. “Gnoccho” translates literally as “lump” (nice, huh?) and is a colloquial word for dumpling; gnocchi can be made out of semolina, cornmeal, spinach, even bread crumbs. One of my favorites: ricotta gnocchi, which is just as authentic as its potato relative, but lighter in texture and much easier to make.

Unlike potato gnocchi, ricotta gnocchi require no precooking (opening a container of ricotta cheese is much easier and faster than boiling, peeling and mashing a pound of potatoes) and no rolling of dough. Just stir together ricotta, a couple of eggs, a heap of grated Parmesan and a little flour — just enough to bring everything together. You’re looking for a dough so sticky that it’s almost a batter; it should not be thick enough to knead or mold into shapes. Do a test run by dropping a spoonful of the batter into a pot of boiling water, and if it holds together (a little softening and disintegration around the edges are fine), you’re good to go. If it falls apart, add a little more flour — no more than a few tablespoons — and try again.

You cook them by dropping the batter by the heaping tablespoonful into the water in batches of six or so at a time (overcrowding would make them clump together). I like to serve these with a classic sauce of sage leaves fried in a little butter.

You have to serve them immediately — these don’t keep well at all — but you’ll have no trouble polishing off the lot in a single sitting.

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I made mine a bit smaller than the ones in the YouTube video. They look like matzah balls don’t they? I’m pretty sure that I still used too much flour, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I didn’t want the gnocchi to fall apart in the water.

I threw mine in some tomato sauce as opposed to brown butter sage sauce. I have to say, that they weren’t restaurant quality light and fluffy, but not bad! As the article said, it’s not worth the effort to make at home (although it is rare to find ricotta gnocchi out in restaurants-If you’ve found them somewhere- please let me know!!) My grandmother’s recipe was VERY heavy on flour,  they much denser-and you chilled the dough before you formed the gnocchi. I hate to say it, but I think I like this recipe better! Sorry grandma.

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