Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays Bloghop...Ricotta Gnocchi with Contessa Sauce

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!
{ Please note that Tasty Tuesdays will now be posted on Tuesdays @ 8:00 AM EST }
I'm sharing a recipe for ricotta gnocchi.  This is a Lidia Bastianich recipe and can be found on this site.  I haven't made many of Lidia's recipes but I always enjoy them.  You can count on her to provide an authentic Italian dish!  This was my first attempt at making gnocchi.  I thought I'd start with a ricotta version before trying the more typical potato version.  I've loved gnocchi since the very first time I had them.  I was 18 years old and on a trip to New York City with my Dad.  We went to s show on Broadway and then went out for dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant.  I ordered gnocchi, loved them, and have been enjoying them ever since!
For the gnocchi:
- 1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese (the original recipe calls for whole milk but I used low fat.)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper ( I used black )
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg,
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed, plus more for forming the gnocchi
For the sauce:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 thin slices prosciutto (about 1 ounce), cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 10 fresh basil leaves, torn into quarters, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
{ I cut the recipe in half but am posting the full recipe }
Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat.
Make the gnocchi:  Place ricotta into mixing bowl. Beat the eggs and 1 teaspoon salt in a separate bowl until foamy. I forgot to do this - see photo above! Stir the eggs, 1/2 cup grated cheese, pepper, and nutmeg into the ricotta with a wooden spoon or spatula until thoroughly blended. Gradually add as much of the flour as necessary to form a soft and sticky dough. Ricotta-gnocchi dough is always soft and sticky – don’t work in so much flour that you have a firm and smooth dough, or the gnocchi will be tough and heavy.  It's not necessary, but at this point you could put the dough into the refrigerator for an hour so that that it's easier to work with.
Divide the dough into six approximately equal pieces. Roll one of the dough pieces out with a back-and-forth movement of your palms and fingers to a rope about 1/2 inch wide. Flour your hands, the work surface, and the dough lightly, as necessary, to prevent the dough from sticking. Cut the roll crosswise into 1-inch lengths. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Roll gnocchi with a fork to create ridges.  This is a little tricky - I need more practice!  Set aside gnocchi while you prepare sauce.
Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the prosciutto, basil, and pine nuts and cook, stirring, until the pine nuts are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup heavy cream, bring to a boil, and boil until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat while cooking the gnocchi.
Stir the gnocchi, a few at a time, into the boiling water, stirring gently but constantly. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they float to the top and are tender, about 5 minutes.
.Remove gnocchi out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer or slotted spoon and add them directly to the sauce in the skillet. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, stirring gently to coat the gnocchi with sauce. Meanwhile, use a hand mixer to whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Stir in the whipped cream, remove from the heat, and stir in the grated cheese. Top with fresh basil and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings
This certainly isn't a quick-cook meal and is a little involved, but it is so worth it!  I loved this dish and it really tasted like it came from a restaurant.  Don't you love when that happens? 
Now it's your turn to link up.  What have you cooked this week?
{ Please remember to add a link or the Tasty Tuesdays button to your post.  You will find the code to the button over on my sidebar.  Thanks! }
As I was signing up this week for Linky Tools I noticed that it is no longer going to be free to host link parties.  A yearly subscription is required starting February 7th,  Does anyone have a recommendation for a free hosing site? 


cooperl788 said...

That looks delicious; I'm bookmarking it for this Sunday when I can cook without any time constraints. My hubby's going to love homemade gnocchi!

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Beautiful and delicious looking comfort food!

Thank you so much for hosting!

Cranberry Morning said...

That looks absolutely wonderful! I have never even heard of it before, but will have to introduce my family to it! Thanks. :-)

Alisa said...

I've always wanted to try making gnocchi and yours look super yum!! You've given me inspiration!

Thanks for hosting Alissa :) I have no idea about the linky thing, but I know there are other providers out there. I used Inlinkz when I did the summer pics party and it didn't charge a fee at the time.

Here's a link to a few of them:

Hope that's helpful!

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

It looks so good! Not sure if I have the patience though. I'll just come over to your house! :-)

Mo 'Betta said...

I didn't realize gnocchi was just flour and cheese! Therefore, i would love it! I'll have to give it a try one day. I hate that they are going to start charging for linkys. If I find another site I'll let you know.

Ott, A. said...

Thanks for hosting. This gnocchi looks delish!

Sense of Home said...

Your gnocchi look wonderful! I too shared an Italian dish this week.


☺lani☺ said...

Nice presentation and really looks yummy!

Elizabeth said...

It looks like it came from a restaurant too! Thanks for hosting!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

I've never had gnocchi, but I would love to try it. I like that it calls for nutmeg. Looks delicious!

Inspired2cook said...

I LOVE gnocchi! I'll have to make this recipe! YUMM!!!!

Sue said...

Your gnocchi look so tender and delectable! Definitely restaurant fare!

SnoWhite said...

Wow -- delicious gnocchi! That looks amazing. We made a sweet potato one once, and loved it.

Sherri said...

That dish looks marvelous and yummy! I could eat that right now! Thanks for sharing the recipe and photo today!!

Tiffany @ Savor Home said...

I LOVE Lidia and LOVE PBS for hosting her show. Your gnocchi looks so good! You should contact Lidia at http://www.lidiasitaly.com/contactus/ to let her know what a spectacular job you did!

Winelady Cooks said...

Your dish looks amazing.

Thanks for hosting,

Jane said...

Oh my goodness! Your Gnocchi dish looks amazing! I love Italian food! Thanks for hosting this linky! I added my Red Velvet Heart-Shaped Whoopie Pies! :)

Kim said...

Your dish looks amazing! This is my first week in linking up with you and I hope to do so every week from now on. So much fun!

As far as the linky I find myself in the same boat as I host one every Monday. If you find something will you hollar at me? I'll do the same. I may just give in and pay for it. It really is a nice one.

kidswonderart said...

Thanks for hosting. Your recipe looks really delicious.

I hope you can find a way to keep hosting this hop. I'll be sure to keep following.

Kimberly said...

your gnocchi looks great!

natasha said...

I once made a gnocchi that used instant mashed potatoes which was definitely interesting! But yours makes me want to try the real deal! Thanks for hosting...as always! :)

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

This must be fate. I have been wanting to learn how to make gnocchi for some time now. Thanks for the great tutorial and delicious sounding recipe.

Andrea (Andreas Kitchen) said...

Thanks for hosting!
This week I am sharing my recipe for Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream. The flavor and texture are incredible- you will never miss the dairy!

Lauren said...

I had the BEST ricotta gnocchi this summer on vacation and have been dying to try making some of my own. I'm going to try this recipe!

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for hosting! The gnocchi look fabulous!


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