Ricotta Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Sage

Attention cholesterol phobes and anyone for whom a string bikini is in her not-so-distant future, here’s your pass: you’ve been excused from this blog for the day.  You’re not going to wanna buy what I’m selling here, sorry to say.  But if you have room in your diet for a little naughty behavior and you’re all for thumbing your nose at the cholesterol police, then come on in, the water’s fine.  : )

I live with a houseful of gnocchi freakazoids.  Up until now, I’ve only made the potato version – but I’ve had this recipe in my ‘must try’ stack for months and so I decided to give the ricotta variation a go.  And this, my friends is a ‘wow’.

However, I would never in a million years serve it as a main course, and I can hardly even believe that’s how it was written to be served.  These are delicious, but they are rich … seriously rich.  They’re made with whole milk cheese and flour and finished in a brown butter sauce, what did I expect?  Not exactly light eating, but fine as a side dish.  You could cut the calorie factor by finishing them with a splash of good quality marinara if you were so inclined.  I’ll never tell, and I’d be the last to judge you for skimping on the brown butter sauce.  Especially, like, if you’re all about trying to look halfway decent in a swimsuit within the next two weeks.

I’m already back from spring break, and my swimsuit has been returned to the back of my dresser.  Today I’m wearing a big sweater and yoga pants.  And the butter’s tasting pretty good, I gotta say.

Have a great week!

Serves:  6 – 8 as a side dish; 4 as a main course
Source:  For the gnocchi:  epicurious.com; For the Sauce:  Food Network Magazine, April 2012; p. 138.  Recipe by Chef Marc Forgione. 

2 c. whole milk ricotta cheese (Sargento Ricotta is on sale)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (Shurfresh Eggs are on sale)
1 1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1/4 t. grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour (Shurfine Flour is on sale if you’re running low)

1/2 stick butter
3 fresh sage leaves, plus additional leaves sliced for garnish
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

Stir together ricotta, eggs, 1 cup cheese, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Add flour, stirring to form a soft, wet dough.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and flour the paper lightly.  Set aside.

Turn dough out onto a well floured work surface and with lightly floured hands, form dough into a ball.  Use a floured knife or a bench scraper to divide the dough in half, and then divide it in half again.  Working with one chunk at a time, gently roll the dough into a long, 1 inch thick rope.  Use the bench scraper to slice the rope into approximately 24 pieces.  Transfer the pieces to the parchment lined cookie sheet.  Repeat with additional  chunks of dough.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the gnocchi in two batches, adding a few pieces at a time to the pot and stirring occasionally, until cooked through (cut one in half to check) – this should take 3 to 4 minutes per batch.  Lift gnocchi out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a colander to drain.

Meanwhile, cook the butter with the whole sage leaves in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium low heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the red pepper flakes and stir.  Add the drained gnocchi to the butter mixture and increase the heat to medium high.  Cook gnocchi until they begin to turn a light golden brown.  Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with remaining grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and sliced fresh sage.  Serve immediately.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | March 27th, 2012