by Rita Mascaro
What is gnocchi? A little dumpling made with either baked potato, flour and egg or made with ricotta, salt and flour. We are going to make the latter. The gnocchi is served under a blanket of sauce (suggestions to follow). It is a main course, served with a salad of fresh greens. Or, in a much smaller portion, it can be the first course of a large holiday meal.
For 4 servings, you’ll need:
- 1 pound of ricotta
- 1 pound of flour (2 cups)
- tsp. or so of salt.
If the ricotta is soupy/watery, drain the water off.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the ricotta, salt and the flour together, forming it into a dough. Knead the dough on a flour dusted counter until it’s nice and smooth. Let it rest for about 10 minutes with the mixing bowl inverted and covering the dough.
Divide the dough into fourths. Leave the quarters you’re NOT working on under the inverted bowl. Pinch off a piece of dough about the size of an egg and on the floured counter, roll it out with your fingers to form a little less than an inch thick snake. With a knife, slice the snake up into approx. 1 ½” pieces. Run your finger or a fork, very lightly down the center from end to end of this little piece (creating an indent and causing the little gnocchi to curl slightly – this indent will catch the sauce you dress it with). Do this with your whole mound of dough. As your little gnocchi are made, remove them to a towel covered cookie sheet. At this point, they can be frozen or stored in the fridge for boiling later. It won’t hurt them to sit on the counter awaiting the others to join them. It’s actually good for them to dry out a bit before they get boiled.
Note: I never said this wasn’t labor intensive, but it’s worth it!!!
Note #2 VERY IMPORTANT: The snake rolling part of this recipe is the part you get the kids to do. They love it. It’s just like playdoh. Plus, because they made it, they’ll eat it!!
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Boil until they come to the top (just a couple minutes). Remove carefully with a slotted spoon (or spider) into a serving bowl and dress with a little sauce.
Sauces: Almost any style of sauce is wonderful on gnocchi. The simpler the better because the gnocchi is the star of this show. Therefore, just a little melted butter with a tad of olive oil added into which a clove or two of garlic is warmed (and removed) poured over the gnocchi is my favorite. Herbs can be added to this. i.e. chopped fresh basil, and/or parsley, and/or rosemary, and/or sage.
A thin, light, vodka sauce, or marinara sauce, even store bought Alfredo is excellent over the gnocchi. But, remember, very little sauce. The gnocchi wants to shine.
The scripture I chose for this post is
John 21:12 “Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine”.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have been invited to that meal, by the seashore, of fish grilled over an open fire, prepared by Jesus Himself?
The whole Word of God is the rich, satisfying meal He’s prepared for you and I. See John 6:33 where He said
“for the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world”.
Vs. 35 Jesus said, “I AM the bread of life”
Some of our fellow CAST-ers have wonderful items in their shops that greatly facilitate meal making. I’m sure they’d love it if you paid them a visit.