15 November 2012

From the Chef ~ Gnocchi di Ricotta e Zucca

These tasty and comforting dumplings made of ricotta and winter squash or pumpkin arrive just in time to accompany your Thanksgiving turkey!  This easy-to-make recipe is my own creation!  Like gnocchi?  Check out my recent posting for Gnocchi with Spring Greens and Ricotta at CasaFioreOnline.com (March 2012)!

1. Let 1 cup ricotta drain in a cheese cloth-lined colander for roughly 30 min.  Meanwhile, steam 1 lb. fresh winter squash or pumpkin until a butter knife will slide easily into flesh.  I grow big Blue Hubbard squash to use in recipes like this all winter long.  Remove skin and puree.  Alternatively, substitute with 1 cup canned pumpkin.
2. Mix squash thoroughly with ricotta, 1 lightly beaten egg, 3/4 cup floor, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 cup grated parmigiano, and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg.  Some tips:  Depending on the moisture in your ricotta, this can be a very sticky mixture, so you may need to add flour in small amounts.  Don’t add too much lest they become gummy and heavy.  Also, consider making homemade ricotta.  It’s extra work, but it’s easy and rewarding, and you’ll be making an ingredient superior to what you can buy at the store.  Check out my recipe at CasaFioreOnline.com (March 2012).
3. On a floured surface, roll out cords of mixture roughly 3/4” thick.  Cut into 1/2” pieces with a butter knife.  Roll in semolina flour (you’ll need 1-2 cups) and set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil.  Carefully add gnocchi.  After 2-3 minutes, they will rise to the top.  Allow to cook another minute.  Remove and gently toss in a pan of 1/2 stick (or more!) melted butter and 12-16 fresh sage leaves.  Serve with more grated parmigiano.  Dig in!