HOMEMADE RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH BLISTERED CHERRY TOMATOES

HOMEMADE RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH BLISTERED CHERRY TOMATOES

I’m a fan of the little pillow-like pasta puffs that is gnocchi. I love it even more when it’s surrounded by fresh cherry tomatoes blistered in hot olive oil and garlic, and topped with small dollops of ricotta cheese.

People seem to be surprised when they learn just how easy it is to make gnocchi by hand.  It’s just eggs, flour and cheese – that’s it!  You may be tempted to use your KitchenAide, please don’t — use the best kitchen tools you have – your hands. All you’re doing is combining the eggs, flour and cheese, then gently bringing everything together in one smooth, cohesive ball.  From there, roll out logs and cut pieces roughly an inch or so apart and place on a rimmed sheet tray that has a bit of corn meal on it, so they don’t stick.

Making gnocchi (or any pasta) dough is fabulous way to include kids in the kitchen.  They can roll out the dough and if you want, they can take a fork pressing the tines into each gnocchi as decoration.  In researching gnocchi recipes, you may note recipes that incorporate mashed potatoes into the flour and egg mixture. I'm not a fan of this, but feel free to include if you like.  I prefer to use ricotta cheese and grated fresh parmesan for the slight salty taste. I also think the ricotta makes the lighter gnocchi.  To this recipe, I use a nice chopping of Italian  flat-leaf parsley and some red chili flakes for a touch of heat.  The salt, cool and heat all play well together in your mouth.

Now you can use any sauce you like best, tomato, pesto, vodka, but I like to place juicy cherry tomatoes (red, yellow, etc) in a pan where olive oil and chopped garlic are sizzling.  As the  tomatoes hit the hot oil they’ll blister pretty quickly, then I pull the pan off the heat. This can be made as the gnocchi cook.

Probably the most important element to making gnocchi – a large pot of salted boiling water.  As each gnocchi is placed in the hot bath, they will plummet to the bottom of the pot as if it’s the bottom of sea.  Don’t fret, shortly after their decent, they come bobbing like floating buoys.  Be ready to move quickly, once these guys reach to top of the pot, they’re ready to spoon into a bowl or plate and enjoy.

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

Gnochhi makes a great starter, by placing a few pieces on a salad plate or small bowl.  As a main course, it's wonderful served along side a simple green salad or as a side dish, pair it with some grilled shrimp or chicken.

 Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish

 Cuisine Italian

 Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz Whole Milk Ricotta cheese, drained

  • 1 oz fresh Parmasean cheese, grated

  • 4-6 oz All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 Egg, room temperature

  • 1 Egg yolk, room temperature

  • 3/4 cup Fresh Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp Red Chili Flakes you can increase or decrease the amount based on your preference for heat.

  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes

  • 1 Garlic clove, chopped finely

  • 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta cheese

Instructions

  1. Place the flour on a clean counter and create a small well in the center.

  2. Add the egg and egg yolk, cheese, parsley, and chili flakes to the center.  

  3. With your hands, gently bring the flour into the center, slowly combining the ingredients. Bring everything together into a ball, slightly kneading.

  4. Divide the dough into four pieces. Take each piece, cut in half, then roll each into 8-inch logs. With a knife, cut each log into 1-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet that's dusted with corn meal. Continue this process until all the gnocchi pieces are on the sheet. Cover with plastic and place in the fridge until you're ready to cook

  5. When you're ready to cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Gently place the gnocchi in and let cook about 2-4 minutes.  They're done when they float the to top.  Drain and serve.

Blistered Cherry Tomato Sauce:

  1. In a large saute pan, coat the bottom with olive oil, roughly 2-4 tablespoons.  Begin to heat over a medium flame.  

  2. Add the chopped garlic and increase the heat. As the garlic heats through and the oil is sizzling, add the cherry tomatoes.  

  3. Shake the pan a bit letting the tomatoes, olive and garlic cook together. When the tomatoes are just popping and their skins look blistered, remove from the heat and spoon over the gnocchi.  

  4. Top each serving with some small dollops of ricotta cheese and if you want additional chopped parsley.