Tuesday, June 26, 2012

on the best of the pastas.

one word: gnocchi.
the first time i had gnocchi was sometime around middle school - and i was a changed not a girl not yet a woman. anytime i saw it on the menu, i ordered it. i didn't care if it was good or bad, i wanted it. and finally, in my first summer home from college, i made it. potato gnocchi. it took hours and a potato ricer (i had no idea those existed) and all the strength my arms could muster. it was a one and done kind of deal.
that was, until i realized there were two kinds of gnocchi - potato gnocchi and ricotta gnocchi.
the latter is much easier to make, is smoother, less heavy, and doesn't take the strength of the entire "magic mike" cast in order to form the dough.
i followed this recipe this time.
the ingredients are easy to come by, but i used fat free ricotta instead of whole milk ricotta. i tend to stay away from items that are fat free - i'm wary of the chemicals used to make it fat free or it just doesn't taste good. but in this case the first concern is null - the ricotta is fat free simply because it's made with skim milk, not fabricated in a lab somewhere. secondly, we use the ricotta to influence the texture of the gnocchi, not to provide flavor - a perfect opportunity to take the calorie count down by substituting fat-free in my opinion.
mixing the ingredients together is easy peasy - next you have to roll out the dough. the recipe says to do so on a floured surface and with floured hands - let me say, use flour liberally. the dough is sticky, sticky, sticky. i floured my surface and hands multiple times - do not be shy with your flour!
so, roll out a portion of the dough into a long piece - about an inch wide. i made half of what the recipe called for and rolled out four to five pieces of dough in this manner. slice into pieces on an angle and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. i would say i made some of my pieces too big - and my some i mean 90%. depending on your tastes though, feel free to make the gnocchi as big or as small as your heart desires. cook the gnocchi in boiling water - it will be done when it floats to the top, about two to three minutes. any gnocchi you don't use can go into the freezer and be used for dinner later in the week. (tip: if you find your gnocchi falling apart or turning mushy in the water, refrigerate or freeze it for about 30 minutes before cooking - it will hold it's shape better this way).
and, like every other pasta, gnocchi is just a vehicle for the sauce - in my case, pesto. but, like every other pasta, it will pair with any sauce you're in the mood for - enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. Ah gnocchi! Those little fluffy balls of heaven! Can you believe that I only tried gnocchi for the first time a few weeks ago? It was life changing. If I had a milder temper in the kitchen when it came to things dough related, I might be tempted to try these but they do look like a labour of love! You sold me when you said I could freeze them!

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  2. This looks incredible!! I have never even thought of making my own pasta. I guess I assumed I needed a pasta maker. I will be trying this soon!! Is that the pesto from the farmer's market? Any chance you could send some this way? ;)

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    1. this is one of the few pastas you don't need a pasta maker for - and it's so easy! I would love to send you some - its amaaaaazing. I just saw a fresh version at trader joes in their refrigerated section that I'm gonna try - if you have a trader joes near you, you could try that too!

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  3. I cannot believe you made this from scratch! I'm bookmarking this because you make it look so simple and will give it a shot sometime. Maybe this weekend?

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    1. I know - really easy! definitely give it a go this weekend - and remember if your dough is really sticky just put more flour on your hands!

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  4. You know I've never had gnocchi?! This recipe looks delicious. Though I think I'd have to go full fat ricotta!

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    1. never?! you need to get on that, stat!

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  5. My boyfriend's mom recently told me that he had learned how to make potato gnocchi from his very Italian family...I was so indignant that he'd been holding out on me!!

    I didn't know you could make them with ricotta either...but these look just as good as the potato ones!

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  6. I had no idea you could make gnocchi with ricotta! I LOVE gnocchi too and we've made it quite a few times from scratch but it's always a full day process. I'd love to be able to whip something up easily for dinner. Might have to try this!

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  7. um I have never had gnocchi and now I feel like I'm totally missing out. I'm super impressed that you made your own! Every time you post a recipe on here I think about how tiny your kitchen is - and how awesome it is that you are still pumping out this delicious food!

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    1. haha - thank you! lord knows i try to make the most of that space. you gotta try gnocchi sometime - i absolutely love it!

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  8. This gnocchi looks amazing! You did such a great job!

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  9. Wow-this seems fairly straight-forward. You're a great instructor! I thought gnocchi was a lot harder to make, but I think I can handle this recipe! (btw love the BSpear circa 2002-Crossroads era reference).

    xx

    Erin @ http://www.truffles-ruffles.com/

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