It’s usually safe to say that most people think everything is better with a little cheese. Cheese dip, cheese sauce, shredded cheese, cheese on top, cheese in the middle. Gnocchi made with cheese is no exception. I have a great recipe for ricotta cheese gnocchi.
Ricotta is a fresh cheese, meaning it has not been aged. Other kinds like Cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss, are aged or ripened. Ricotta is a type of Italian cheese made from whey (whey is the liquid remaining after making cheese). It literally means “recooked”.
Try them with your favorite sauce (even a cheese sauce!) to see for yourself just how the ricotta makes these little pillows melt in your mouth. Get ready for seconds.
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
6 to 9 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, extra for dusting the dough/board
In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, egg yolk, salt and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Stir until combined – the dough will still be quite sticky.
Generously flour a board or countertop. Divide dough into fourths. Working with ¼ of dough at a time, scoop it onto the board. Dust it with flour (dust your hands too) before rolling it into a finger-thick roll. Cut dough into little pillows. Try sticking the knife’s blade into the flour to keep it from sticking. Place each gnocchi on a floured board or parchment paper lined baking tray.
Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a generous pinch of salt and reduce heat until the water bubbles lightly. Add the gnocchi and stir once, so they don’t stick to the bottom – then let cook until they start floating to the top. Depending on their size this may take 2 to 4 minutes. Take out with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, pureed in food processor until smooth
Pinch of salt and sugar
2 Tablespoons basil leaves, minced
2 Tablespoons heavy cream (I used half-and-half. Good, but cream would've been better.)
Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Simmer until thickened slightly, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and cream. Cover to keep warm.