I love a good gnocchi, but it can be a tad difficult to get right. Unless you want something with enough rubber to deal with a Sydney highway in a rainstorm, you need to dry the spuds out properly, and not over work them, and blah blah flipping blah.
There’s a time and place for that sort of effort, and late on a Sunday afternoon is not one of them.
That’s when these little pillows of deceptively light, surprisingly cheesey yumminess come into their own. Strictly speaking, these are dumplings or gnudi, not gnocchi, but seriously?
I usually serve this with a fresh home-made napolitana sauce. The other night I had a bag full of red capsicums that were a few days beyond salad standard, so roasted the cheeks with some olive oil and garlic until they were blistered, skinned and chopped the flesh (that sounds a little extreme) and mixed it through my tomato…just for a change. It added a sort of smoky sweetness.
What you need:
- 250g ricotta
- 250g freshly grated pecorino or romano, or parmesan
- 1 egg
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 cup plain flour
- pinch salt
- You’ll also need a couple of handfuls of chopped continental parsley and some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano to serve.
What you do with it:
- In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and nutmeg. When evenly together, add the egg, half the flour, and salt. Get your hands into it. Add enough of the rest of the flour to make a stiff dough.
- Now get rolling. Throw enough flour onto your bench to help you along, and form the mix into around 6 cylinders approx. 30cm long and 1cm in diameter. Put the ruler away- I said approx. As you can see from the photo- we’re far from precious and they still taste great.
- Cut each cylinder into pieces around 1.5cm and press lightly with the back of a fork, pulling towards you. It’s these forkie bits that hold onto the sauce.
- Bring some water to the boil in a large saucepan and lightly salt it. Cook the gnudi in batches- once they rise to the surface (after about 2 mins) they’re done.
- Remove them and keep warm.
- Pour over your tomato sauce and serve with parsley and the extra cheese.
These are best eaten on your lap in front of Sunday nights The Block room reveal…just saying…
This recipe comes from Salute, Food, Wine & Travel in Southern Italy, by Gail and Kevin Donovan…Naturally all the best bits are theirs, and all mistakes are mine.