Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gnocchi

I made gnocchi for dinner tonight. I thought I'd share my recipe (which I actually got from an old co-worker of Chuck's). I make my gnocchi with ricotta cheese instead of potato. I also make a pretty large batch so you might want to cut it in half if you're only cooking for a couple of people. The batch I made was enough to feed 4 of us (two adults - two kids) and have two servings leftover.

Mix one large container of ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Add in enough flour to get a dough consistency. Add a little bit at a time (like a cup) until it's not too sticky to handle.

Boil some water and add olive oil to the water. Once your water is boiling, start rolling out a bit of dough into a log shape and then cut into bite size pieces. Drop the dough into the water. I do this in about two batches (I roll, cut, drop - continue). You know your gnocchi is done when it floats at the top.

I put the first batch in a large bowl and add some butter/margarine (you could use olive oil if you'd like) to keep them from sticking. Then I move on to the second batch.

Normally I make a marinara sauce to go with the gnocchi, but tonight I made a cream sauce and used up some leftover ham. It came out really good.

I started with a lot of butter in a small saucepan and melted it. Then I added two tablespoons of flour and cooked that a couple of minutes (this helps to get the flour taste out of your sauce). To the roux I added salt, pepper, and garlic powder (I used quite a bit because I wanted a strong garlic flavor - you could definitely use garlic cloves instead - you could even smash a couple of cloves, add them to the sauce for flavor, and then discard them before serving). I then slowly added about 2 cups of milk and a couple of sprigs of thyme that I had on hand in the freezer. I cooked this on a very low heat (I was cooking the gnocchi at the same time and wasn't able to stand there constantly stirring the sauce) until it thickened. Then I added my leftover ham. You definitely don't need the ham, but it did add some nice flavor to the dish. Right at the end I added about a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Then I poured the sauce over the gnocchi. Yumm! Even the boys loved it.

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