Ricotta Gnocchi (Malfatti)
by Mary Rogers

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Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Food Group: Pasta
Serves: 2


16 ounce Whole milk ricotta (preferably Calabro fresh ricotta)
2 large Slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed and bread torn into quarters
1 large egg
2 tablespoon(s) minced fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoon(s) minced fresh parsley leaves
Table salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper
6 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)


1.   Line fine mesh strainer set over deep container or bowl with 3 paper coffee filters or triple layer of paper towels.  Place ricotta in lined strainer, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.

2.   Meanwhile, process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds.  Spread crumbs on rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry and just beginning to turn golden, about 10 minutes, stirring once during baking time.  Let cool to room temperature.  (You should have about ½ cup crumbs).  DO NOT use store bought bread crumbs.   

3.   Transfer drained ricotta to food processor and pulse until curds break down into fine, grainy consistency, about eight 1 second pulses.  Using rubber spatula, combine ricotta, egg, basil, parsley, ½ teas. Salt, and pepper in large bowl.  Add flour, parmesan, and bread crumbs, stir until well combined.  Refrigerate dough for 15 minutes. 

4.   Check texture of dough, should be moist and slightly tacky to the tough.  When the proper consistency is achieved, a few crumbs should stick to your finger.  If the dough is too wet and a lot of crumbs stick to your finer, stir in additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. 

5.   Lightly dust work surface with flour.  With floured hands, roll lemon-sized piece of dough into ¾ inch rope, rolling from center of dough outward.  Cut rope into ¾ inch long pieces and transfer to parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough, dusting work surface with flour as needed.

6.   Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon sale.  Reduce heat so water is simmering then gently drop half of gnocchi into water and cook until all pieces float to surface.  Continue to simmer until gnocchi are cooked through, about 2 minutes longer, adjusting heat to maintain gentle simmer.  Using slotted spoon, scoop gnocchi from water, allowing excess water to drain from spoon; transfer gnocchi to skillet with sauce and cover to keep warm.  Repeat cooking process with remaining gnocchi.  Using rubber spatula, gently toss gnocchi with sauce until uniformly coated.  Divide among warmed bowls or serving platter and serve immediately.


NOTE:  When rolling the gnocchi , use just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and work surface; using too much flour will result in tough gnocchi.  The gnocchi can be rolled, cut, and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.  To freeze the uncooked gnocchi, place the baking sheet in the freezer until they are firm (about 1 hour), then transfer them to a zipper lock bag and store them for up to 1 month.  Thaw frozen gnocchi overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking as directed.  To prevent the gnocchi from cooling too quickly, warm a serving platter or serving bowls in a 200 degree oven.  Two recommended sauces are Browned Butter and Sage Sauce and Tomato-Cream Sauce.