Ricotta Gnocchi

I love gnocchi.  Scratch that, I love anything with carbs, I’m a carbolicious fiend, as unfashionable as I may be.  But making gnocchi?  Friggin hell it’s hard yakka – boiling, rolling, thumbing, rolling, boiling…the efforts are totally worth it, but you know those weeknights where it’s raining outside, you’ve had a long hard day and you just want something comforting to warm you from the inside out?  Ricotta gnocchi is totally it!  It’s so easy, dinner is ready in half an hour.  It can scarcely be called a recipe – all you do is throw the ingredients into a bowl and fork away. 

What do you do?  Well, you should put your pot of water to boil first.  Then I put a tub of ricotta cheese into a bowl, grate a couple of handfuls of parmesan in, add two eggs and about half a cup of flour.  Fork everything together, adding more flour if needed – you want the consistency of lumpy glue.  Season with a little salt (depending on how salty your parmesan is) and pepper (I’m a huge pepper fan and grate in a few good grinds).  Once your water (salted, of course) is boiled, grab two teaspoons and carefully place the lumpy batter in the boiling water.  I usually put a baby lump in first – if no hairy bits float off, you’re good to go.  I actually make my lumps fairly big – all the better to enjoy that comforting feeling. 

What sauce to you use?  Mark Bittman suggests butter and sage (put a couple of tablespoons of butter into a pan, wait til it goes nut brown, add the sage leaves and Bob’s your delicious uncle), but I’ve experimented with carbonara (combine eggs with half a cup of parmesan and spoon over gnocchi) and buttered mushrooms and sour cream (nut brown butter again, saute mushrooms until they go dark.  You can add rosemary here if you have/if necessary, and spoon the sour cream on top).

Here’s Bitty’s recipe for further details.  Do it tonight!

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