PAN-FRIED RICOTTA GNOCCHI
Ricotta Gnocchi, a traditional Florentine dish, have the delicate texture of little pillows and are also very easy to make. And you can create them ahead of time and then freeze them (up to one month) until ready to use. Gnocchi are basically rich velvety Italian dumplings and pair well with any sauce. I choose to serve mine with homemade pesto. Sautéing the gnocchi creates a crispy outside with a soft airy inside but they can be boiled in a pot of hot water until they float to the top as well.
This is one of these recipes where I don’t know how I went so long without making it myself, especially when the outcome is so delicious.
1 pound Ricotta cheese, about 2 cups, any excess liquid drained
1 cup grated Romano cheese
4 egg yolks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a large bowl stir together the ricotta, Romano cheese, egg yolks, salt and black pepper. Slowly stir in the flour until the mixture forms a soft, wet dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour until the dough is firm.
Lightly flour a work surface. Divide dough into two equal balls and shape each into a 1”-thick rope. Cut the dough crosswise into ¾” pieces. Roll the dough on a gnocchi board or using the prongs on a fork. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the cut pieces onto it, lightly flouring the parchment paper if the pieces of dough begin to stick. Continue until all dough is used.
Place the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze the gnocchi. Once frozen, divide gnocchi into portions. Any gnocchi you will not be using right away, place into freezer bags.
When ready to use the Gnocchi, heat a medium skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the gnocchi in a single layer and fry about 2 minutes each side, until the gnocchi is lightly browned on each side. Serve as is or lightly tossed in your favorite pasta sauce.