March 22, 2011

Ricotta & Chive Gnocchi with Kale Pesto

Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn describes ricotta gnocchi as a "traditional Florentine pasta" that is "the lighter, hipper cousin to northern Italy's potato gnocchi." It sounded perfect to me...comfort food for a warm spring evening.

Although I'd eaten ricotta gnocchi at work, I'd never made it myself. This type of gnocchi is light & pillowy, a very soft & delicate dough. To jazz up the traditional recipe, I added chopped chives...which have recently exploded in my herb garden, coming back along with the oregano & lemon thyme that I planted last year. I ate the tender little dumplings with a bright green, herbaceous & lemony kale pesto. 

I wanted something satisfying yet fresh, something to use my pungent garden chives, something that included kale (my current obsession), something to get me in a springy mood...and this easy recipe did the trick!

Ricotta Chive Gnocchi

1 15-ounce container of whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely-grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap & chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Sprinkle a rimmed baking sheet with flour.
  • Sprinkle your hands and work surface with flour, then pat out the dough to a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. The dough should be slightly tacky but should not stick all over your hands. 
  • Using a bench knife or sharp knife cut the dough into 3/4-inch strips. Then cut each strip into 3/4-inch pieces. Gently roll each piece into a dumpling shape. Place on the floured baking sheet. 
  • Once the water boils, add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add half of the gnocchi, gently stirring to prevent sticking. When the gnocchi float, continue cooking for 2 minutes. Remove with a spider or large slotted spoon & transfer to a serving bowl or to a pan that contains the sauce you're serving.
  • Cook the rest of the gnocchi & serve immediately.
If you're serving the gnocchi with the kale pesto below, while the first batch of gnocchi is cooking, add few tablespoons of pesto to a medium skillet over medium-low heat. When the gnocchi is finished cooking, strain it & add to the pesto. Stir gently to coat. Top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese.

Kale Pesto

2 cups (packed) kale leaves, stripped from the stems
1/4 cup fat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Add everything except the olive oil to a food processor & pulse to chop.
  • While running the machine, slowly drizzle in the oil.
  • Taste for seasoning.

1 comment:

Every Little Thing said...

Thanks for posting the recipe! I've been excited ever since you tweeted it. It looks fantastic and actually really easy.