Monday, July 18, 2011

Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas and Corn

I love gnocchi. It is so delicate, so fluffy, so perfectly tender. I am, however, not the best at making homemade gnocchi. I have had many failures before. Sometimes they are too dense, sometimes they melt together once I take them out of the boiling water, sometimes they melt together in the boiling water! However, I cannot seem to get rid of the itch to make homemade (and edible) gnocchi. I am glad I did not give up the fight! I have finally found the perfect recipe and technique for perfectly tasty, delicate, light and airy gnocchi! Find my inspiration at Food and Wine, it is a Tyler Florence recipe, he is by far my favorite chef.

The sauce is of my own making. Something springy...even though we are in the middle of the hottest summer I can remember. I think that says more about my memory than about the heat.

Please enjoy, and please follow the recipe exactly for the gnocchi, but veer as far off course as you wish with the sauce to satiate exactly what you are craving.

Shafer with her CJ and Grand-daddy Doc at the lake!

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Ingredients for Gnocchi:
1 1/2 cups Ricotta
2 Egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Ingredients for Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
6 slices of prosciutto
1 cup of corn
1 cup of peas
2 tablespoons of reduced balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese

Steps for Gnocchi:
1. Combine the ricotta with the two egg yolks and salt in a large bowl and stir until well mixed together.
2. Add the 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons of flour to the ricotta mixture.

3. Stir until a rather sticky and soft but not entirely wet dough forms.

4. Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and turn the dough out onto the surface. Knead for about 3 to 5 minutes. The dough will be a bit tacky.

5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest in the freezer for 30 minutes. *****I have found this step to be essential in making gnocchi*****

6. After the dough has hardened a bit (no more than 30 minutes), you can roll the dough out into 4 strands that are about an inch in width.

7. Cut these ropes of dough into 1/2 inch pieces with a floured knife.

8. Transfer these pieces to wax paper.

9. Place the gnocchi back into the freezer for another 30 minutes. *****Again...essential for me at least...*****

10. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the gnocchi.

11. Let boil until the gnocchi comes to the surface, and then continue to boil for another 2 minutes.
12. Transfer the gnocchi to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

13. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and then add the gnocchi to the brown the gnocchi on all sides.

Steps for Sauce:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan.
2. Add the sliced prosciutto, peas, corn and reduced balsamic vinegar to the olive oil.

3. Add the browned gnocchi to the sauce.

4. Sprinkle the shaved Parmesan cheese onto the gnocchi.

Enjoy with a hearty loaf of bread and a Chardonnay!

Yet another play session!

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