Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dark Days #17: Ricotta Gnocchi

I'm sneaking in this week's Dark Days Meal in just under my self imposed threshold of the "Wednesday to Wednesday" DDC week ... I can't believe St. Patty's day was already nearly two weeks ago! This is #17, with just two to go to get me to the official "finish line" of April 15th.

Things are getting a little desperate around here in the freshies department, but I did manage to cook local tonight.

It started with another batch of ricotta:

Technique is the same as last time but with no buttermilk. I'm getting faster and faster at it, and this time from one gallon of milk I got one pound, nine ounces of cheese!

I enjoyed our potato gnocchi back in the fall, but as I mentioned before, they were a little on the "fally aparty" side. I would like to try them again to see if I can improve that, but I also found a recipe for gnocchi made with ricotta cheese instead of potato that was supposed to be good (and easy). I decided to try it.

ricotta, olive oil and egg
plus romano cheese and sieved flour
pretty crumbly to knead at first
but it started coming together quickly
cut into pillows
and rolled on the back of a
fork to make nooks and crannies

Has anyone else (with young children) noticed how while the light in the evening is lovely, it sure makes it hard to get dinner on the table in time for a reasonable toddler bed time? I somehow seem to be in a rush to get food out for use each night and this evening was no exception. I topped the gnocchi with a simple sauce of roasted garlic, onion and a can of tomatoes from last years garden, and I steamed up some green beans from the freezer for a little color to go with the meal.

I forgot to take a picture at first, thus the empty spot in the
bottom of my plate!
How local was I? / What did I learn?
  • Local foods from within 50 miles included the milk in the ricotta, the egg and (more or less) the flour in the gnocchi, the garlic, and the tomatos in the sauce and the green beans (from my Dad's garden). The onions were a bit further off, from a farm near Syracuse, about 65 miles north of here.
  • Non-locals were pretty much the usuals: olive oil, salt, dried basil, romano cheese and tomato paste.
  • These gnocchi are said to be lighter and more tender than their potato-based cousins. Perhaps I worked the dough too much or something because though the flavor was delightful, they still made for a pretty darn heavy meal. Delicious, but not really "light". They were, however, MUCH faster than the potato version, so for that they may be more of a go-to gnocchi recipe for me.
I basically used a recipe from I found on Food52, but as usual I didn't do a very good job following directions. Imagine that. Maybe if I'd mixed in the cheese before adding the flour and added the flour slowly as she suggests, they would have been lighter?

In any case, here's the fundamentals:

1 pound ricotta
1 egg
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/4c grated romano (or parm)
fresh ground nutmeg (I didn't use this)
2 cups flour, sifted

Cook in salted water until they float.

I used my full pound and a half and scaled everything else up accordingly, then cooked just over half of that dough.  The two of us ate until we were full, the little Bug had probably a half dozen "noo noos" too, and we still had enough leftover for one big lunch. I froze a tray for a small meal another night as well.
I leave you with a F.P.O.P. and hope to see you back here again soon!

My kitchen aide.

1 comment:

  1. Ah - you have a kitchen assistant like I do! I would love to try making my own cheese. I have been making gnocchi in my house too - with potato - a great winter local meal, isn't it? Thanks for linking up with me too!


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