This is the easiest, most delicious way to make your own delicious pasta at home. Trust me. I've tried many recipes and most of them call for fancy pasta driers/tools or use a sack of flour. In most cases, I end up with gummy, bloated, wormlike strings and dinner at 10:00 pm. The recipe and method I'm about to share with you is the easiest way to enjoy delicious, homemade ricotta gnocchi!
I bought a certain cookbook that sits upon my shelf specifically because of the delicious pasta dish photos and recipes. Once I got it home, I noticed that some of the recipes call for 8 cups of flour! I think thats probably about a bag of flour! I couldn't image myself eating a bag of flour so that wasn't going to work for me at least. I suppose if you are having a dinner party that might be called for, but I was just cooking for Chris and I with the hopes of leftovers!
We have the plastic 'pasta & meat grinder' attachment for our kitchenmaid mixer, and it is SO HORRENDOUS, I can't even believe they sell it with the claim of being pasta maker. The only thing it did well was clog. I figured gnocchi might be worth a try next, since I didn't think I'd need any fancy tools.
I was still left with questions like, how sticky is the dough supposed to be? How do you get it to stay formed? Are you supposed to use more or less flour? Do I have to use potatoes? I don't even like potatoes!
Then came the cooking part. I'd never had great success with cooking homemade pasta, whether it was stringy or little balls of gnocchi. How were you supposed to know when it was done? Do you cook all of it at the same time, or is it supposed to have some breathing room? Can you reuse the water for the rest of your pasta? The first couple of times I made gnocchi, I boiled it. They never really kept their shape going into the water, and it was difficult to get them out without ruining the shape. Then I tried sautéing them in butter, this was a game changer! My only mistake was trying to brown them on both sides! This kind of defeats the whole 'pillowy' part of gnocchi. I noticed when we ate at Narcissa in NYC, that only once side of the gnocchi was browned.
I had 3 issues to solve. The recipe needed to consider the following things:
- Easy ingredient list
- No frills preparation
- Successful cooking method
CONSIDER IT DONE! I am so proud to share my recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi with Microgreens.
1. Easy Ingredient List: The recipe calls for 90 grams (about 3/4 cups flour), plus some for dusting. You want to use as little flour as possible, just enough to hold the gnocchi together. The rest is just ricotta, egg yolk, and herb sauce from my Grilled Panzanella recipe! I omit salt because I think the broth adds enough, and you could omit the herb sauce too, but I think it adds a nice flavor.
Notice this recipe is potato free! I don't really like potatoes and from what I've seen, they are kind of a pain in the butt to cook (especially when you have little to no experience cooking anything but sweet potatoes!).
I added microgreens after I had the gnocchi at Adele's, Jonathan Waxman's restaurant here in Nashville. The microgreens add some MAJOR health benefits to this recipe! Leaves from baby greens have four to six times more nutrients than mature leaves, according to the first scientific analysis of microgreens which was published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry (Xiao, Lester, Luo, & Wang, 2012). I've used radish, kale, and broccoli microgreens and they were all equally delicious. I didn't think they were that noticeable, so one time I didn't add any, and Chris definitely noticed! Tasty and healthy!
2. No Frills Preparation: If you have a flat surface, a sharp knife (a pizza cutter or pasta cutter work too!), and a flat pan lined with parchment paper, you're good to go. No fancy metal contraptions needed! Sometimes I squeeze them in the middle to make a more pronounced bow shape, but that usually only happens on the first little batch. The rest are just plain squares/rectangles!
3. Successful Cooking Method: As far as the cooking method goes, there are two secrets to success here! First, pop the ricotta into the freezer for a bit so they keep their shape. Second, instead of boiling the gnocchi, you sauté them in slightly browned butter, and only on one side. Hello pillow gnocchi!
Go make yourself some homemade Ricotta Gnocchi!! Not only is it perfectly approachable, but it is hearty, warm, and delicious. Perfect to welcome the crispness of fall!
Let me know what you think! Leave me a comment below! Take a photo of your beautiful creation! Post it on Instagram, tag me @corrielanderson, and use #itsallofit!
Recipe By: Corrie L. Anderson
Serves: 2 - 4 - Keeps in the freezer for about 2 days
- 250 grams (about 1 cup) fresh Ricotta
- 90 grams (about 3/4 cup) All Purpose Flour + more for dusting
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup herb sauce (from Grilled Panzanella recipe)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 - 2 cups microgreens and/or sprouts
- Splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium sized bowl, mix Ricotta, flour, and egg yolk together until well incorporated.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour onto a clean surface. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture onto the flour and roll into a somewhat flat disc. You can use a rolling pin if that makes it easier! Spoon about 1 - 2 tablespoons of herb sauce onto the dough and fold to incorporate.
- Once the sauce is incorporated, roll dough into a flat disc. The dough should be about 1/2 - 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into strips so you have mini square/rectangles. (See photos above for further reference)
- Place the cut pieces of gnocchi onto a pan lined with parchment paper and stick it in the freezer for about 6 - 10 minutes.
- Place 4 tablespoons of butter into a large pan over medium high heat. When butter starts to bubble, add the gnocchi, be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the gnocchi starts to brown on the bottom. Then add microgreens and sprouts along with the vegetable broth, grate some Parmigiano Reggiano over top and stir. I usually cook the gnocchi in two batches so as not to crowd the pan. Cook for five minutes. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon over the pan. Once plated, grate a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano over top and serve!
Xiao, Z., Lester, G. E., Luo, Y., Wang, Q. Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2012, 60 (31), pp 7644–7651.