Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Gnocchi with Ricotta, Potatoes, Herbs & Zucchini

During our recent trip to Florence, my friend Amy and I took a cooking class that was one of the highlights of the trip for me. We met Chef Barbara at a local market where she taught us about the food we saw there and purchased items for our meal. The primi, or first course, was Gnocchi with Ricotta, Potatoes, Herbs and Zucchini or Gnocchi Di Ricotta alle Erbe e Zucchini in Italian.

I've never been a big fan of gnocchi and certainly have never made it but enjoyed the process and loved the final dish. The ricotta made the gnocchi incredibly light. The sauce made from pancetta and zucchini was even better. I loved pureeing some of the mixture to create a sauce and plan on applying this technique to other recipes.

I recreated this dish one my first day home and found it was just as delicious at home. I probably will not make the gnocchi regularly as it is a little labor intensive, but the sauce will be a regular item on my menu. I think it would be fantastic with any pasta from angel hair to a ziti. Enjoy!

Gnocchi with Ricotta, Potatoes, Herbs & Zucchini

To make gnocchi:
1/2 pound of potatoes
1/2 pound of ricotta cheese
2 tbsp of grated parmesan
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup of flour

For the sauce:
2 oz of pancetta (or bacon) diced
1 shallot, diced
3 small zucchini, diced
2 tbsp of grated Parmesan
2 tbsp of butter
parsley, chopped
marjoram, chopped
extra virgin olive oil

Boil potatoes with the skins on starting with cold water. Bring to a boil. Drain and let potatoes dry in pan. Mash potatoes (we used a potato ricer) and leave on board to dry out some more. ix with ricotta, salt, pepper, and egg yolk. Make gnocchi by taking sections of dough and rolling into small logs. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces and form gnocchi on a gnocchi board if you have one. I just rolled them across my finger to form a thick c-shape. Place gnocchi on a floured cookie sheet and dust with flour to keep them separated. Set aside.

In a pan heat the oil and add the pancetta and shallot. Cook until pancetta is almost crisp and shallots have softened. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in salted boiling water until the gnocchi float to the top of the water. Don't cook too many at a time.

Remove half the sauce and place in a mixing bowl. Blend with immersion blender until smooth. return to pan. Add butter, Parmesan and the chopped herbs and stir. Add cooked gnocchi and combine. Serve immediately.
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1 comment:

  1. I love gnocchi and tried to make it once and it was a disaster. MaybeI'll give it another try, because this looks incredible!


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