I’ve done fresh ricotta gnocchi before about a year and a half back on this blog but it is one of the many recipes that I usually don’t measure and didn’t publish exact measurements before. I’ve been making gnocchi for years because it’s one of my husband’s favorites. When I first starting making gnocchi I based my recipe on the only gnocchi I ever had at that time and they were frozen gnocchi that I learned some time back are a world different than fresh made gnocchi. Frozen pasta dishes like gnocchi and raviolis are very thick and dense without a fresh flavor. Fresh gnocchi are very light and tender and do have more flavor. About ten to fifteen years back I ate my first fresh made gnocchi in New York at one of Mario Batali’s Restaurants and not until then learned I was making gnocchi wrong. I happened to purchase a book about that same time called Mom’s Secret Recipe File by Chris Styler. It’s a book of treasured recipes by the Mother’s of Great Chefs. One of the recipes I learned from was Lidia (Matticchio) Bastianich’s Mother’s potato gnocchi recipe. I made it a bunch of times. Eventually I did start playing around with the potato dumpling recipe and changing it to a cheese dumpling with my own seasonings. The recipe is simple but I learned to make a correct gnocchi the amount of flour always starts as half of whatever the filling recipe is. Like one cup of potatoes would be half a cup of flour and would never be more than 3/4 cup of flour. The amount of flour you need might differ in either potato, cheese or potato cheese gnocchi due to the amount of moisture in what you mix in and the humidity. You ALWAYS need your filling (cheese or potato) to be as dry as possible for the best results. Most gnocchi are made with potato, some are half potato and half cheese and sometimes the gnocchi are all cheese.
Since I can’t purchase good tasting ricotta cheese near where I live I just make the ricotta cheese fresh and then make the gnocchi. It’s very easy and I’ll walk you though it after the gnocchi recipe. I have also already posted how to prepare ricotta cheese on this site.
Ingredients makes around 7 servings
2 cups fresh made ricotta cheese (see end of recipe for easy directions)
1 XL egg beaten
1 cup parmigiana reggiano – shredded (for more flavor…I don’t always add the parmigiana)
1 cup flour
a few grates fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
pinch white ground pepper
1 Tablespoon kosher salt (for your boiling water)
3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (to coat the gnocchi you pull from the water)
Directions mix cheeses, egg, flour, white pepper, nutmeg, and 1/2 t. salt together with a fork till smooth. Get a pot of boiling water on and add remaining salt to water. Make a 1/2 inch cut off an end of a disposable pastry bag 1/2 way fill with dough and twist end to hold it in.
Hold over boiling water and squeeze out each gnocchi dapping them off with your finger.
Let them boil a couple minutes and they will float to the top and remove them with a slotted spoon. Each batch you remove sprinkle with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Serve and enjoy.
To make ricotta cheese. Makes around 4 1/2 cups of cheese.
In a big pot add one gallon whole milk, one pint heavy cream and a 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a slow boil. (this will take a while) Let the mixture boil a few minutes and slowly add fresh squeezed lemon juice, add a few tablespoons at a time until it curdles.
Get a colander and line it with paper towels. Use a soup ladle and ladle out your curds and whey. Let drain until you see curds and place in a clean container and repeat till done.
You will be rewarded with really great tasting cheese you will never forking purchase it again.