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Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi - A Daring Cooks Challenge

6:50 PM

 

Lis and Yvonne of  The Daring Kitchen have chosen Ricotta Gnocchi as the first Daring Cook's Challenge . The recipe is from 'the stunning cookbook by Judy Rodger's named after her restaurant, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook


The Challenge is in the making and forming of gnocchi and we were given choices to play with our sauces. I made a caramelized onion and tomato sauce to go with it.




For Gnocchi :

1 pound (454 grams/16 ounces) fresh ricotta (2 cups)
2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
2 or 3 fresh sage leaves, or a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg, or a few pinches of chopped lemon zest (all optional)
½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about ¼ cup very lightly packed)
about ¼ teaspoon salt (a little more if using kosher salt)
all-purpose flour for forming the gnocchi

Step 1: Preparing the Ricotta [ the day before you make the gnocchi ]

If the ricotta is too wet, your gnocchi will not form properly. In her cookbook, Judy Rodgers recommends checking the ricotta’s wetness. To test the ricotta, take a teaspoon or so and place it on a paper towel. If you notice a very large ring of dampness forming around the ricotta after a minute or so, then the ricotta is too wet. To remove some of the moisture, line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels and place the ricotta in the sieve. Cover it and let it drain for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can wrap the ricotta carefully in cheesecloth (2 layers) and suspend it in your refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours with a bowl underneath to catch the water that’s released. Either way, it’s recommended that you do this step the day before you plan on making the gnocchi.

Step 2: Making the Dough [ the day you plan on eating the gnocchi ]

To make great gnocchi, the ricotta has to be fairly smooth. Place the drained ricotta in a large bowl and mash it as best as you can with a rubber spatula or a large spoon (it’s best to use a utensil with some flexibility here). As you mash the ricotta, if you noticed that you can still see curds, then press the ricotta through a strainer to smooth it out as much as possible.

Add the lightly beaten eggs to the mashed ricotta.Melt the tablespoon of butter. As it melts, add in the sage if you’re using it. If not, just melt the butter and add it to the ricotta mixture.

Add in any flavouring that you’re using (i.e., nutmeg, lemon zest, etc.). If you’re not using any particular flavouring, that’s fine.Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the salt.

Beat all the ingredients together very well. You should end up with a soft and fluffy batter with no streaks (everything should be mixed in very well).





Step 3: Forming the Gnocchi

Fill a small pot with water and bring to a boil. When it boils, salt the water generously and keep it at a simmer. You will use this water to test the first gnocchi that you make to ensure that it holds together and that your gnocchi batter isn’t too damp.

In a large, shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan, make a bed of all-purpose flour that’s ½ an inch deep.

With a spatula, scrape the ricotta mixture away from the sides of the bowl and form a large mass in the centre of your bowl.

Using a tablespoon, scoop up about 2 to 3 teaspoons of batter and then holding the spoon at an angle, use your finger tip to gently push the ball of dough from the spoon into the bed of flour.

At this point you can either shake the dish or pan gently to ensure that the flour covers the gnocchi or use your fingers to very gently dust the gnocchi with flour. Gently pick up the gnocchi and cradle it in your hand rolling it to form it in an oval as best as you can, at no point should you squeeze it. What you’re looking for is an oval lump of sorts that’s dusted in flour and plump.

Gently place your gnocchi in the simmering water. It will sink and then bob to the top. From the time that it bobs to the surface, you want to cook the gnocchi until it’s just firm. This could take 3 to 5 minutes.

If your gnocchi begins to fall apart, this means that the ricotta cheese was probably still too wet. You can remedy this by beating a teaspoon of egg white into your gnocchi batter. If your gnocchi batter was fluffy but the sample comes out heavy, add a teaspoon of beaten egg to the batter and beat that in. Test a second gnocchi to ensure success.

Form the rest of your gnocchi. You can put 4 to 6 gnocchi in the bed of flour at a time. But don’t overcrowd your bed of flour or you may damage your gnocchi as you coat them.

Have a sheet pan ready to rest the formed gnocchi on. Line the sheet pan with wax or parchment paper and dust it with flour.

You can cook the gnocchi right away, however, Judy Rodgers recommends storing them in the refrigerator for an hour prior to cooking to allow them to firm up.

Step 4: Cooking the Gnocchi

Have a large skillet ready to go. Place the butter and water for the sauce in the skillet and set aside.

In the largest pan or pot that you have (make sure it’s wide), bring at least 2 quarts of water to a boil (you can use as much as 3 quarts of water if your pot permits). You need a wide pot or pan so that your gnocchi won’t bump into each other and damage each other.

Once the water is boiling, salt it generously.

Drop the gnocchi into the water one by one. Once they float to the top, cook them for 3 to 5 minutes (as in the case with the test gnocchi).

When the gnocchi float to the top, you can start your sauce while you wait for them to finish cooking.

Place the skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Swirl it gently a few times as it melts. As soon as it melts and is incorporated with the water, turn off the heat. Your gnocchi should be cooked by now.

With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and gently drop into the  sauce. Carefully roll in the sauce until coated. Serve immediately.




For the Sauce:

1 Onion, sliced
1 Tomato, chopped
2tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp red chilli sauce
salt to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter. Add in the onions, ginger and garlic.

Saute until onions turn lightly brown. Add in the tomatoes, red chilli sauce and salt.

let it cook until the tomatoes turn mushy and the sauce is formed.

Gently toss the gnocchi in the sauce and serve immediately.




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29 Comments

  1. Hi Sathya,
    sounds interesting and what a saucy looking dressing :) it sure must have tasted heaven. Neat job!
    Enjoy!
    Happy weekend!
    TC

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  2. Hi Suparna, That was very fast :)

    Thanks dear,the taste was amazing !
    Enjoy your weekend.

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  3. Great work on this first challenge and I just love the pixs you did. The sauce looks so nice on the gnocchi. Cheers from Audax in Australia

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  4. wow, sounds interesting and the dish looks so colorful n gorgeous!

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  5. @ Audax - Thanks for your lovely comment. Do visit AppetiteTreats often :)

    @ Aruna - Thanks aruna !

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  6. caramelised onions would have been wonderful - great idea!

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  7. Thanks Abby. The onions tasted amzazing !

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  8. Its raining Gnocchi everywhere :)..yours look perfect, love the sauce..mouth watering :)

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  9. Wow Sathya, nice dish, looks like a long process but worth doing for the final dish just bowled me off... I love gnocchi havent made it at home shall try yours...

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  10. Its looking lovely and colourful...

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  11. First time here. you have wonderful blog & very innovative recipes.. great clicks & delicious recipes...

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  12. Oh boy I don't know about the Gnocchi but am sure if I try to make this am gonna fall apart for sure...great job and you sure have patience...It looks gorgeous.

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  13. Sounds intresting sathya..Looks great with that sauce on top...Colorful and yummy...

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. @ Ramya - Thanks ramya. Do give it a try :)

    @ Srikars Kitchen - Welcome to AppetiteTreats :)

    @ sakshi - Thanks sakshi. It is very easy to make :)

    @ pooja - Thanks pooja.

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  16. This looks fantastic, a great effort !

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  17. Sathya thats amazing. U did this from scratch. lovely dish.

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  18. Your pictures look delicious! I bet the flavor of the caramelized onions went wonderfully with the gnocci!

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  19. Your clicks are amazing Sathya..u did this gnocchi prefectly from the scratch, keep up ur great work yaa!

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  20. Wonderful dish,pic makes me mouth-watering.Gr8 job.

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  21. the dish reflects the effort and patience that has gone into it..looks lovely and so wanting to take a bite in!!! yummy..sathya

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  22. Your clicks are amazing Sathya..u did this gnocchi prefectly from the scratch, keep up ur great work yaa!

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  23. Your pictures look delicious! I bet the flavor of the caramelized onions went wonderfully with the gnocci!

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  24. Your pictures look delicious! I bet the flavor of the caramelized onions went wonderfully with the gnocci!

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  25. the dish reflects the effort and patience that has gone into it..looks lovely and so wanting to take a bite in!!! yummy..sathya

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  26. Your pictures look delicious! I bet the flavor of the caramelized onions went wonderfully with the gnocci!

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  27. caramelised onions would have been wonderful - great idea!

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  28. Great work on this first challenge and I just love the pixs you did. The sauce looks so nice on the gnocchi. Cheers from Audax in Australia

    ReplyDelete

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