All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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I posted a pumpkin gnocchi in February with three different sauces. Those gnocchi came out more dense than I liked. These new guys are not dense at all – but I experimented with pan-frying them rather than boiling them & I am uncertain how I feel about the results. Rather than caramelizing – as other bloggers said would happen – they sort of fried up like French fries – with the exterior sealed & the interior soft. I am not sure if this is because I was pan-frying cheese gnocchi rather than a potato gnocchi – but they were tasty all the same. I am just not sure if I think the additional calories involved are worth it. I will boil some up soon & report back on how they stack up against the pan-fried. Here is how they looked after frying & draining on a paper towel.
This recipe makes about 6 servings of gnocchi but the tomato & basil sauce is only for two servings. So – be prepared to freeze some for later use. To do that, line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper & put the fresh gnocchi on it & freeze them like that. Once the gnocchi are frozen solid, pick them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags in your freezer – each containing a single serving (or in larger quantity – as you desire). To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top. If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.
Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.
Gnocchi can be rolled on one of these (inexpensive) little rollers
for a result like this
or just cut into cubes like this.
If you are frying them, do not bother with the board rolling. The frying will dissolve the grooves anyway. Also – frying in clarified butter (or ghee) is better because it is harder to burn but regular butter will work. HERE is how you clarify your own butter.
Feel free to just boil them. They are done when they float to the top.
You can do this will all goat cheese or all ricotta. I just happened to have the ratio of cheeses I posted here.
Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella
For 6 servings of gnocchi
3/4 cup (5 oz) goat cheese
1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
If frying – you will need 4 TBS clarified butter (or regular butter) and 2 TBS olive oil
For 2 servings of tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce
1 lb tomatoes – diced small (I used cherry & Roma)
4 cloves garlic – minced
1 1/2 cups chopped basil
S&P to taste
Fresh mozzarella balls (in quantity you think suits 2 servings) – sliced
For the gnocchi
Gently blend together the flour, goat cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest & salt. Add half the flour. When well incorporated, lightly dust a counter with flour & transfer the dough there. Add the rest of the flour & gently pinch it in. Try not to over-knead or add too much flour. You might need more or less flour depending on certain factors such as the size of the yolks & the wetness of the ricotta.
When done and not still sticky – store in the fridge for at least an hour – covered in plastic wrap.
When ready to make the gnocchi, take sections of dough & roll them out to 3/4 inch thick snakes. I used my fingertip as a measuring device to cut the gnocchi into cubes.
You can opt to roll them on a gnocchi board or not.
For the tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce
Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a pan. Add the minced garlic & saute 30 seconds.
Add the diced tomatoes & bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low & add MOST the basil – reserving some for garnish. Simmer for 15 minutes or so. Add S&P & leave on a very low simmer.
If boiling the gnocchi – boil them until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon & add to the sauteing tomatoes.
If frying the gnocchi – heat the butter & oil in a pan & fry the gnocchi – shaking the pan and/or turning the gnocchi until browned on all sides. They can then either be drained on paper towels & then added to the tomatoes or just added directly to the tomatoes.
Raise the temperature on the tomatoes to a serving temperature. Divide between to plates & garnish with the sliced fresh mozzarella, grated Parmesan & reserved chopped basil.