One of my favorite hobbies and a favorite way to relax is cooking. It may be from my Italian heritage. In my house when I was growing up, everything revolved around food. I guess to this day, it still provides comfort to me. Cooking is a type of meditation for me. I immense myself in preparing a recipe and feel gratitude for anyone that had anything to do with bringing the food to my kitchen. The April recipe is for homemade gnocchi.
My Mom always made homemade gnocchi. It was a family favorite. She made hers with mashed potatoes. In my recipe, the gnocchi is made with ricotta cheese. They are lighter and more delicate than the ones made with mashed potatoes. What is really great, is that they are so easy to make. You will never buy prepared gnocchi again. This recipe serves four.
1 16 oz. container of whole-mild ricotta
1 large egg
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup flour
1. Set a strainer lined with paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta and let the cheese drain for about one hour.
2. In a large bowl, mix the strained ricotta, egg, cheese, and flour. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Check the dough, it should be a little tacky. If it clings to your fingers, put a little more flour in, one teaspoon at a time. Refrigerate another 15 minutes.
4. Sprinkle a cookie sheet with flour.
5. Get the dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle your hands with flour and also the counter you are working on. Grab a tennis ball size of the dough and roll it into a log shape. Cut the log into 3/4” pieces. Toss with a little flour on the baking sheet to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining dough.
6. You can cook them at this point or freeze them to use later. If cooking, boil a pot of water and add ½ of the gnocchi. Gently stir them, so they do not stick. When they come to the surface, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the other half and serve with your favorite sauce.
7. If you are going to freeze them. Freeze them on the baking sheet. When they are frozen, put them in a zip lock bag. Cook them the same way.