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The perfect winter apartment picnic - homemade gnocchi, salad, fresh bread w/ olive oil & balsamic...WINE

My friend Erin and I have a shared loved for gnocchi – I am pretty sure we could talk about it for hours. We decided to have a gnocchi night awhile back. First, we were just going to do basic, store bought gnocchi (and tons of wine), but suddenly the plan changed to do homemade gnocchi. I was terrified.

But really, there wasn’t much to be terrified of.  We chose a more simple, ricotta-based gnocchi. The little guys actually turned out really well…here’s the rundown:

To start: mix ricotta, egg, and olive oil.

Add parmesan and flour, mix until you can form dough into a ball.

cut the ball of dough like your are slicing a loaf of bread. roll out each slice into a "rope" like pictured above.

This is why I was nervous. I can cook and everything…but when it comes to being crafty, decorating, or trying to make something look pretty, I almost always screw it up.

Once the ropes are formed, cut the individual gnocchi and use a fork to create imprints that will help hold the sauce.

I have to admit, I had a moment of panic where I thought these might be the ugliest gnocchi ever, but I actually think they all turned out kind of cute…maybe?

place the finished gnocchi on a sheet pan lined with wax paper. put it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm them up.

I also need to point out that Erin is amazing and helped out with our Pasta Primavera, and I am a horrible friend and didn’t give her credit where credit was well deserved! This whole gnocchi night happened Thanks to her as well. Love you, girl.

The gnocchi only take a few minutes to cook in boiling water - once they float to the top they are done.

Since we were going all out and making our gnocchi from scratch, we stuck with a really easy and basic alfredo sauce recipe. And because we love anything with heavy cream, butter, and cheese components.

Ready to dive in - the finished ricotta gnocchi in a basic alfredo sauce.

Next time we will make the gnocchi pieces smaller, as we think they will cook a little better and easier that way. Maybe a vodka sauce instead of alfredo. Really, this gnocchi would taste great with just about any sauce.

In the end, homemade gnocchi wasn’t that hard and tasted great! Erin and I were very proud of ourselves, who knows what we will tackle on our next cooking night!

Recipe

Ricotta Gnocchi

from Food52

Serves 4

  • 1 pound fresh whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups flour, sifted, plus extra for rolling dough
  1. Add egg to ricotta cheese and oil and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add grated parmesan cheese to mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add sifted flour a little at a time and continue to mix thoroughly until dough comes together.
  4. Dump onto generously floured surface and work with hands to bring together into a smooth ball. Add more flour as necessary until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to your hands.
  5. Cut off slices of dough like cutting a loaf of bread and roll into ropes thumb size thick by spreading hands and fingers and rolling from center out to each edge of the rope.
  6. Line one rope parallel to another and cut 2 at a time into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece off the back of a fork to make imprints that will help hold the sauce.
  7. Transfer gnocchi pieces to a lightly floured or non-stick baking sheet so they don’t stick together and put in the freezer while making the rest of batch. If you plan to save any gnocchi for future use, allow them to freeze entirely on the baking sheet before storing in a ziplock bag to prevent sticking together.
  8. When ready to prepare, bring a large stockpot of generously salted water to a boil.
  9. Add gnocchi to boiling water and gently stir once with a wooden spoon to create movement and prevent gnocchi from sticking to the bottom. As gnocchi rise to the top {a sign they are done cooking} scoop them out with a mesh strainer or a bamboo wire skimmer and immediately place in serving bowl shaking off excess water.
  10. Scoop some sauce on top of each layer of gnocchi as they are placed in the bowl to eliminate the need to stir them with sauce in the end and risk damaging or smashing the pasta. Generously grate parmesan over the top and serve.


    Alfredo Sauce

    from All Recipes

    Serves 4

    Ingredients
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

    Directions

    1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

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