Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ricotta Gnocchi with two sauces.

It's no secret, that I often get asked if I am Italian, but alas no there is no little Italian mumma inside me, beyond the part of me that loves pasta and has created a pasta addicted daughter. So have we cooked pasta before yes, its a staple once a week dish here, in many varieties, and Gnocchi has always been the potato version - often fresh from the deli, or the shelf variety and on occasion fresh from our hands...but having tried this ricotta Gnocchi I doubt I would ever make or buy potato gnocchi again. Recently I watched a TV programme where the presenter raved about the pillowy softness of gnocchi...I didn't get it till eating this version of pasta...yep little fluffy pillows of goodness...OH MY my mouth is drooling as I type.

This is another recipe from the Donna Hay a cooks guide
and Donna's little blurb from beneath them is perfect,
(yep they have to be cheats as anything this simple just can't be true but I have eaten them and well it's true and some little pillows from heaven)
savour these soft and pillowy morsels with an array of delicious toppings. Prepared simply or baked in a rich tomato-based sauce, these CHEAT'S dumplings are irresistible

500g ricotta
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain flour
sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  1. Place the ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  2. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into 4 x 15cm ropes
I have even cooked this one for a 12 hour crop and keeping Linda's Celiac disease in mind, used a gluten free flour - admittedly they weren't as light and fluffy as all my describing says...but they were still just as good.

Baked Gnocchi

1 x quantity basic ricotta gnocchi (see above)
1 cup grated mozzarella
tomato sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar
400g can borlotti beans, drained
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
sea salt and cracked black pepper

To make the tomato sauce, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock and sugar and cook for 5-6minutes. Add the beans, basil, salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Set aside.

Follow the basic gnocchi recipe. Place the cooked gnocchi in a 1 litre ovenproof dish. Spoon over the tomato sauce and top with mozzarella. Cook under a preheated hot grill for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden. Serves 4
I popped it in the oven for the time it took to warm and cook my frozen loaf of garlic bread and it was perfect. And I doubled the recipe for a bigger serve, and added a few rashers of bacon to the the garlic step just to please the meat eater in my house as well.

1 x quantity basic ricotta gnocchi
150g goats cheese crumbled
shaved Parmesan, to serve
cracked black pepper, to serve
creamy mushroom sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small brown onion, chopped
300g button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/4 cups single cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
sea salt and cracked black pepper

To make the creamy mushroom sauce, heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and onion and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion is softened. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the cream, stock, thyme, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Set aside and keep warm.

Follow the basic gnocchi recipe, adding the goat's cheese to the mixture. Spoon the mushroom sauce over the cooked gnocchi and top with parmesan and pepper to serve

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