Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ricotta Gnocchi - Daring Cooks!

We are back! Can you tell? Can you tell that I'm posting this in a hurry? This time, the cooks got an opportunity to get daring, and you know how Daring A and I are :P, so we signed up and didn't really regret it. Oh, my waist did, but then what is that treadmill for, and husbands for, if not for venting it out. Right?

Okay, I'm going to cut to the chase and tell you what we did for Daring Cooks. I'm sure you've seen on all other Daring Cooks' blogs, the fabulous Ricotta Gnocchi. Well, we did the same, only some of ours weren't firm enough thanks to inexperience, some arguments in the kitchen and sheer exhaustion. I promise we will do better next time! We made our own Ricotta and halved the recipe. This recipe is from the famous Zuni Cafe.

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Ingredients

1 cup fresh Ricotta
1large cold egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tbsp Butter, melted
A couple of Sage leaves/1/2 tsp Dry Sage
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1/8 tsp Salt
All-Purpose Flour for rolling the Gnocchi

We made our own Ricotta and let it strain overnight and for half a day. In spite of this, there was still some moisture left. Sigh.

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Anyway, we decided to pucker up and do our best on this recipe and make the Gnocchi. Here are the steps we followed.

1. Mash the ricotta well to form a smooth paste like mix. You may mash it with a spatula and make sure to rub it across the dish to make sure there are solid curd like formations.

2. Add the lightly beaten egg to the mashed ricotta.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the salt.

6. 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).

To form the Gnocchi:

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

8. 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.

9. 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.

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10. 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.

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.

For the sauce:

5-6 tbsp Red pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp Sage or any herbs you may want
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper/paprika

We stuck to a simple sauce. We tossed some finely chopped red peppers and some sage in some butter and accentuated our already rich Gnocchi with some colour ;)

The recipe recommended that we make the Gnocchi, test one or two and then refrigerate the rest for an hour or so. We highly recommend this step. If it wasn't for this resting time, our Gnocchi would have surely crumbled in the water.

And this Gnocchi is WORTH it all. It was so light and so, so, so good that my mouth salivates even now as I write this post. Some of our Gnocchi was not firm while the rest withstood the hot water test pretty well ;) Frankly, we were too tired to take too many pics. So, I leave you with few pics, but this is a must try at least once. I've tried the potato Gnocchi (which I thought was tough) but found the Ricotta Gnocchi needs a lot more patience and yeah, make sure that Ricotta was drained properly. I'm sure if we'd let it strain for another day, our Gnocchis would have been firmer.

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At the end of it all, we loved doing this challenge. We've always wanted to try Ricotta Gnocchi, just not had the courage so far. This challenge pushed us and we are looking forward to doing more with the Daring Cooks!

46 comments:

Ingrid said...

Looks wonderful AND you made your own ricotta? You go!

Thanks for all the nice comments you leave on my blog especially the ones asking about my guys. The twins and their team will be competing in a 5 day tourney in Cooperstown, NY the second week of June. Some of their games will be on a webcam so I'll get to watch from my computer (in FL). :)
~ingrid

Donna-FFW said...

OMG!! This dish looks so delicious. You make it look so easy to make the gnocchi.. I always have issues. I will have to try again. Simply gorgeous!

Sakshi said...

Busy searching your blog for a recipe that my cook's ego can withstand...first it was the bread and now this?? Maybe I need a team too to experiment like u guys...well that's not gonna happen in this birth I think.

Natashya said...

Beautiful! Now I am hungry for gnocchi all over again.

indosungod said...

N, firm or not this looks delicious and to boot you made your own ricotta?

Cheri said...

The red pepper sage sauce sounds delicious! I can see how it would be difficult if you were pressed on time. I had to do quite a few test Gnocchi before I was happy with the results. Yours do look really yummy though!

Cham said...

U made gnocchi with ricotta , both from scratch! Gosh u guys have a real passion for food!

SJ said...

I love your lightbox
I love your pictures
I love your 'daring attitude"
I love your homemade ricotta
I love you guys!!!

Varsha Vipins said...

This looks like n reminds me of the Wild mushroom agnolotti I made sometime back..Looks good A n N..love ur pics..:)

Parita said...

Wow this looks too good..love the first pic :)

veggievixen said...

i would love to make my own pasta! this recipe sounds amazing.

Bharti said...

Good going! I love the simple pepper sauce.

Priya said...

OMG, gorgeous dish, u made ur ricotta at home, great efforts A&N!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

I'm so impressed that you made your own ricotta. They look firm enough to me! The peppers are a lovely addition.

Jaime said...

wow this is fabulous. i wish i had time to join the DB cooks!

as for the mexican pizza - i think you could sub tofu for the beef if you chopped it up really really small. might not taste the same but it would probably still be pretty good

Nags said...

You should be so proud of yourselves!! This is amazing, and the pics are lovely, especially the one with the gnochi on the palm :)

Laavanya said...

That plate of pasta looks so pretty & inviting... can't believe you even made your own ricotta.

Arch said...

Great going A and N...you guys are 'daring' every challenge that comes your way...brilliant !! And home made ricotta - total WOW !! The sauce looks lovely and the pics are tempting...

Arundathi said...

i loved that you made your own ricotta! lovely!! happy to be in daring cooks together!

Prathibha said...

OMG..u ppl prepared even the ricotta...Looks great....

Shreya said...

The last pic is just superb! Amazing that you are so daring:D Love all the pics, and congrats to you both.

delhibelle said...

i'm loving these gnocchis, yours are so droolworthy with the red pepper sauce, even though( read: especially because) they remind me of chicken;)

Jeena said...

Looks totally delicious and appetizing! I love how the red just sits inbetween all of the gnocchi - fabulous.

Bong Mom said...

Wow, daring sure. So this is different from the daring bakers ?

Looks gorgeous, you must be so happy

Lisa said...

You made your own ricotta! Lovely dish. Lovely images too.

♥Rosie♥ said...

OMG, this is so gorgeous!! Superb photos!

Rosie x

DEESHA said...

Iam drooling over them .. absolutely tempting

miss v said...

looks sooooo good!

Red Chillies said...

Wow, this looks very complicated but that is what the daring bakers are, right? Bravo.

kusublakki said...

This looks lovely!! I will add it to my looong wish list of making dishes from the A & N blog :)

Hannah said...

Now I'm regretting not joining... Looks like such a fun challenge!

Soma said...

The A&N team ROCKS ROCKS ROCKS!! How awesome!! & I am just loving your Pictures! is it the box? Can i order one?

burpandslurp said...

wonderful!a plate of this would be my dream come true.

Cynthia said...

You say it's not firm but it looks pillowy soft and tender and so melt-in-your mouth.

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

WOW N...it's fab. Youi can't complain. Yours looks as wonderful as wonderful can be & am sure it tasted fab. After my gnocchi floated away, i had another go at making ricotta at home. This time it was pretty 'unmoist'...but tasyted great in a lasagna. Thanks for egging me on to the challenge...but you did marvellously well on this one. YAY

A_and_N said...

To Everyone: Thanks a ton! We did think that this is not our best, but hey, we are happy about this too! :)

@Deeba: You are such an inspiration! :) I"m glad to be doing this with you around!

@Bong Mom: Ya. This means we will do cooking (which may involve baking) but not desserts, I guess!

@Delhibelle: We thought the same! :D

@Arundhati: Its fun no? :)

Cakelaw said...

You did a fabulous job! Confessions - I have never made gnocchi because I am scared it will be too hard.

maami said...

Can I swing by and be fed please?please?huh?huh?

Maria said...

Looks like a good meal to me!

Elyse said...

Mmm, your gnocchi sure do look yummy! And I love that you made homemade ricotta cheese. Deelish! I think they turned out perfectly. Sorry that I’ve been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader.

Sig said...

Wow, kudos for taking the plunge! It looks soft and delicious, and I am sure next time you will get it as perfect as you want it to be.

Priti said...

I never had this before....looks gud

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Cate O'Malley said...

It looks so creamy and delicious - yum!

AnuSriram said...

Can u pass me that pls.. looks so tempting!

Catherine said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe and your tips as well, great help for me as a newbie in the kitchen, just starting ang enjoying cooking.