Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks #1 Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi...

So we are starting The Daring Cooks. I'm so happy that besides baking we know have challenges regarding cooking. The first one was Gnocchi, not the ordinary one but from home made ricotta. The recipe has been chosen from the cookbook by Judy Rodgers "The Zuni Café Cookbook" - Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi.

I couldn't wait to make this recipe as I LOVE gnocchi but I have never made my own... I always thought that gnocchi are made mainly from potatoes but... in this recipe they are substituted by ricotta which is a great idea! This shows that with Daring Kitchen we not only bake/cook but learn new skills and recipes. I've made my own ricotta (the recipe for ricotta was posted on the 21st April). It was way cheaper than buying ricotta and was SO easy! I will definitely make ricotta more often. I served my gnocchi with sun dried tomato, green olives and mascarpone sauce. I had some more gnocchi left for the next day - they were fried - yummy!

How to make it...

- 450 g fresh ricotta (2 cups)
- 2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
- 15 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 3 tablespoons flour (I had to add it as I couldn't form a decent gnocchi and they were breaking up during the cooking...)
- flour for forming the gnocchi

To make great gnocchi, the ricotta has to be fairly smooth. Place the drained ricotta in a large bowl and mash it as best as you can with a rubber spatula or a large spoon. Add the lightly beaten eggs to the mashed ricotta. 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. Add in any flavouring that you’re using (i.e., nutmeg, lemon zest, etc.). Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, flour (3 spoons) and salt. 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).
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. In a large, shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan, make a bed of all-purpose flour that’s ½ an inch deep. With a spatula, scrape the ricotta mixture away from the sides of the bowl and form a large mass in the centre of your bowl. 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.
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. 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 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the boiling water. Serve with your choice of sauce.



  1. Beautiful job as they look delicious and the photos are awesome!

  2. The sauce sounds FANTASTIC!

  3. Wowww, your gnocchis look perfect! THey're so round and plump, any tips? :P

  4. Wonderful effort and I just LOVE the look of your gnocchi so professional. Good to see that you loved (like I did also) this recipe and yes home-made ricotta is so good and so much better.

  5. Thanks for the nice comments on my blog and you mentioned you live in Ireland; I went there in Sep last year and I just LOVED it the people were super friendly and the country side so green (almost too green) and strangely it never rained anywhere I was for the entire time I was there 4 weeks. People said that was very weird and I was looking forward to rain we don't get much of it at home and I miss it.

  6. I could do with a plate of that right now! Was a fun challenge and looking forward to the next one!

  7. It's so nice to find your blog Anula! My sister-in-law is from County Cork and I've visited Ireland many times.

    Your gnocchi are picture perfect! You did a wonderful job shaping them ...I think even better than the Zuni chef!

    Your zebra cake below looks so interesting! My grandmother emmigrated to the US from the Ukraine, so I'm going to copy down that recipe to try someday.

  8. Good job Anula!! Isn't homemade ricotta the most delicious thing ever! Yours look so well shaped!

  9. wow, those look fantastic. also i love the look of your blog :)

  10. Ooo.. I love sun dried tomatoes! What a great idea! Your Gnocchi look so plump and perfect!

  11. You made your own ricotta? I'll have to try that sometime. Ricotta is very expensive, but your solutions seems very affordable. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Mmm the marscapone sauce with the olives and tomatoes sounds so yummy! Your gnocchi look very pretty!

  13. Mmm, your gnocchi looks amazing!! I love your pictures =D.

  14. Your gnocchi look like a spring flower, almost too pretty to eat. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  15. Great job and your photos are awesome!
    I'll try making my own ricotta next time. This sounds so delicious!

  16. Very well done daring cooker...your gnocchis looks amazingly delicious.


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Pozdrawiam, Anula.