I love making things from scratch. Although in this day and age where everything is instant and easy, I feel that there is very special when it is made at home from scratch. Agreed that it involves time and effort, but I feel that if I can not spend time and effort on my happiness then what is the point. My grandma used to say in Marathi ( my mother tongue) ,” कशासाठी पोटासाठी ” which roughly translates to ” everything is for your stomach”. It is so true. You work hard to earn money so you can eat well and be healthy. So I think this extra effort is worth it when it means the health and happiness of you and the loved one.
Also, I think there is something immensely satisfying about working the dough with your hands, so I decided to make the Gnocchi at home. When you think of Gnocchi, you think of these tiny little dumpling that are made with some kind of potato and flour. However the potato was introduced to Europe only in the 16th century but history of Gnocchi goes back much further than that. Gnocchi was made with flour of some kind, egg and some kind of cheese. So when I wanted to do a series of posts on Ricotta, I decided to make the gnocchi with Ricotta. I found this recipe on Wisconsin cheese site, and looked very tempting. When I read that it was by Michael Symon, I was sure that it would turn out good.
I am plan to post a series on Ricotta cheese.
So here is ‘Two cheese Gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce’- my first dish from the series on Ricotta cheese.
For the gnocchi:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1/4 cup (3 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 cup (8 ounces) Part-skim ricotta cheese, drained
For the sauce:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
12 sage leaves
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
12 fresh parsley leaves
Make the gnocchi:
Combine flour, parmesan and lemon zest in bowl. Add ricotta and egg. Mix well with wooden spoon or your fingers until dough just comes together. Do not overwork or dough can toughen.
Scrape dough onto a well-floured surface and form into a roll. Cut dough into fourths, using bench scraper or knife. Gently roll each piece into foot-long ropes, about an inch in diameter, flouring as needed to prevent dough from sticking to surface.
Place dough ropes on lightly floured platter or sheet pan; refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to two hours, uncovered, to rest. As you may know, anything that uses flour should be allowed to rest a while. This allows the flour to bloom.
Place ropes on floured surface; cut into 1/2-inch pieces with scraper or knife.
Typically gnocchis are curled on a board or with the fork. Since we are using the ricotta cheese, the dough is very delicate so instead of using the curling method, we will just cut the dough.
Finish the dish
Heat butter over medium-high heat in sauté pan large enough to accommodate all gnocchi without crowding.
When butter foams, add gnocchi—do not crowd—and cook, turning as necessary, until brown and crisped on all sides, 5-6 minutes.
When gnocchi are almost cooked, lower heat to medium and add shallot and sage leaves.
Cook briefly to release flavors; then add garlic, lemon juice and water.
Cook briefly, allowing sauce to emulsify and thicken a bit. Add 1/3 cup parmesan and parsley leaves. Toss to coat gnocchi. Spoon gnocchi and sauce into shallow bowls.
Serve immediately else you will end up eating all of it.
Today I served it with grilled marinated portabella mushrooms.