Daring Cooks: Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi

Gnocchi à la ricotta

This is the first ever Daring Cooks Challenge, and it feels good to have joined the Daring Kitchen community just in time to participate! How lucky I am!

The recipe of Gnocchi di Ricotta was brought by Ivonne of Creampuffs in Venice and Lisa of La Mia Cucina, the two founders of the Daring Bakers Challenge.

They picked it in The Zuni Café Cookbook .

First, I can tell you have I been lazy and I purchased the ricotta. In my defense, I must tell you that I live in Montreal near the district of "La Petite Italie" and there are several wonderful Italian grocery. Secondly, I made the basic recipe and I doubled the amouth of Parmigiano Reggiano. I drained my cheese for 3 days. I made the butter sauce with fresh basil. My recipe gave me 60 gnocchi. I make 2 logs with the ricotta mixture. And I cut the dough into pieces. Very easy!

I loved it!

It's light. Delicate, fresh, easy to make and quick to prepare.

I wonder why I've never try it before.
The recipe was wonderful and so delicious.
I definetely will try it again!

Thank you very much for this fantastic challenge and I look forward to the next challenge.

Do not forget to take a look to the achievements of other members of the Daring Cooks!


C’est le premier défi des Daring Cooks et je suis très heureuse d’être membre des Daring Kitchen!

La recette de Gnocchi di Ricotta a été choisi par Ivonne du blog Creampuffs in Venice et Lisa du blog La Mia Cucina. Ce sont les deux fondatrices du défi des Daring Bakers.

La recette provient du livre The Zuni Café.

Tout d'abord, j'ai été paresseuse et que j'ai acheté la ricotta. Pour ma défense, je dois vous dire que je vis à Montréal près du quartier de "La Petite Italie" et qu'il y a plusieurs merveilleuses épicerie italienne. Ensuite, j'ai fait la recette de base et j'ai doublé la quantité de Parmigiano Reggiano. J'ai égoutté mon fromage durant 3 jours. J'ai fait la sauce au beurre avec du basilic frais. Ma recette m'a donné 60 gnocchis. J'ai séparé le mélange de ricotta en 2 rouleaux. Et j'ai ensuite coupé la pâte au couteau, puis j'ai roulé légèrement les morceaux. Très facile!

J'ai adoré!

C'est léger, délicat, frais, rapide et facile à préparer.

Je me demande pourquoi je n'ai jamais essayé avant.
Cette recette est merveilleuse et délicieuse.
Je vais définitivement l'essayer de nouveau!

Merci beaucoup pour ce formidable défi.

N'oubliez pas de jeter un coup d'oeil aux réalisations des autres membres des Daring Cooks!

Gnocchi di Ricotta

Zuni Ricotta Gnocchi
Source: From The Zuni Café Cookbook.

For the gnocchi:

1 pound (454 grams/16 ounces) fresh ricotta (2 cups)
2 large cold eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon (1 ounce) unsalted butter
2 or 3 fresh sage leaves, or a few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg, or a few pinches of chopped lemon zest (all optional)
½ ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (about ¼ cup very lightly packed) about ¼ teaspoon salt (a little more if using kosher salt)
all-purpose flour for forming the gnocchi.

For the gnocchi sauce:

8 tablespoons (227 grams/1/4 pound/8 ounces) butter sliced
2 teaspoons water

Preparing the ricotta.

If the ricotta is too wet, your gnocchi will not form properly. In her cookbook, Judy Rodgers recommends checking the ricotta’s wetness. To test the ricotta, take a teaspoon or so and place it on a paper towel. If you notice a very large ring of dampness forming around the ricotta after a minute or so, then the ricotta is too wet. To remove some of the moisture, line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels and place the ricotta in the sieve. Cover it and let it drain for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can wrap the ricotta carefully in cheesecloth (2 layers) and suspend it in your refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours with a bowl underneath to catch the water that’s released. Either way, it’s recommended that you do this step the day before you plan on making the gnocchi.

Making the gnocchi dough.

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 (it’s best to use a utensil with some flexibility here). As you mash the ricotta, if you noticed that you can still see curds, then press the ricotta through a strainer to smooth it out as much as possible.

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.). If you’re not using any particular flavouring, that’s fine.

Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the 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).

Forming the gnocchi.

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 to 5 minutes.

If your gnocchi begins to fall apart, this means that the ricotta cheese was probably still too wet. You can remedy this by beating a teaspoon of egg white into your gnocchi batter. If your gnocchi batter was fluffy but the sample comes out heavy, add a teaspoon of beaten egg to the batter and beat that in. Test a second gnocchi to ensure success.

Form the rest of your gnocchi. You can put 4 to 6 gnocchi in the bed of flour at a time. But don’t overcrowd your bed of flour or you may damage your gnocchi as you coat them.

Have a sheet pan ready to rest the formed gnocchi on. Line the sheet pan with wax or parchment paper and dust it with flour.

You can cook the gnocchi right away, however, Judy Rodgers recommends storing them in the refrigerator for an hour prior to cooking to allow them to firm up.

Cooking the gnocchi.

Have a large skillet ready to go. Place the butter and water for the sauce in the skillet and set aside.

In the largest pan or pot that you have (make sure it’s wide), bring at least 2 quarts of water to a boil (you can use as much as 3 quarts of water if your pot permits). You need a wide pot or pan so that your gnocchi won’t bump into each other and damage each other.

Once the water is boiling, salt it generously.

Drop the gnocchi into the water one by one. Once they float to the top, cook them for 3 to 5 minutes (as in the case with the test gnocchi).

When the gnocchi float to the top, you can start your sauce while you wait for them to finish cooking.

Place the skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Swirl it gently a few times as it melts. As soon as it melts and is incorporated with the water, turn off the heat. Your gnocchi should be cooked by now.

With a slotted spoon, remove the gnocchi from the boiling water and gently drop into the butter sauce. Carefully roll in the sauce until coated. Serve immediately.

Bon Appétit!

13 commentaires:

  1. Yes these are little pillows of yummmmmminess!!! I just love how you drain the cheese for 3 days I think that this is why you had great success. Love the pixs. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  2. I believe that it is because I drained for 3 days that I have not had any problems.

    Thank you very much Audax Artifex for your comments.

    Have a nice day

  3. beautiful gnocchi! i made my own ricotta and only drained it overnight but i worked fine too.

  4. wow you drained it for 3 days! thats cool! And the photos are incredible. We loved the gnocchi too.

  5. That is so cool that you live near La Petite Italie. I hope to visit Montreal some day to check out all the food! Your gnocchi look delicious and so does that butter sauce. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  6. Thamk you Abby for visiting my blog!

  7. Margie, I wish you to visit Montreal, it is a beautiful city!
    Thank you very much for your comments.

  8. Arundhati, Yes, I drained for 3 days and it was delicious.

    Thank you for your comments and your visit.

  9. Your gnocchi are beautiful! How lucky to live near several Italian grocery stores.

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    I love the way you shaped your gnocchi they're so neat :-) I think I'll try that method the next time I make these.

    I'm also ridiculously jealous of your nearby Italian groceries...save for one or two Indian spice stores, there are no true specialty groceries here :(

  11. Merci beaucoup Barbara pour ta visite. C'est vrai que c'est absolument plaisant de vivre tout près du quartier Italien et des ses belles épiceries!
    Bonne journée

  12. Tu n'as pas mis de beurre dans ta recette est-ce que tu crois que cela t'as permis de les former plus facilement? Car c'est très mou les gnocchi à base de ricotta...

  13. Nath, il n'y a pas beaucoup de beurre dans la recette, je ne crois pas que c'est la raison de ma réussite. Je pense que le quantité de parmesan y est pour quelque chose, mais la raison principale c'est que mon fromage était très bien égoutté.
    Si tu as d'autres questions n'hésite pas.
    Bonne journée


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