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(Brown Butter) Ricotta Gnocchi

November 2, 2010

by Emily

The first time I tried gnocchi, I was in Italy on a study abroad adventure.  Some girlfriends and I had traveled from Orvieto in the Umbria region via Pompeii down to Positano on the Amalfi coast for the weekend.  We had just spent the day checking out preserved Pompeii and after a tiring day of touring and travel (especially the white-knuckled portion on the seemingly runaway bus ride down the Amalfi coast cliffs) we happily settled in for a cozy and fabulous meal.

We had the best seats in the house – outdoors, on the patio, overlooking the Mediterranean.  It was gorgeous, relaxing, and given all of my senses were engaged, it is no wonder I remember trying gnocchi for the first time, right?

Admittedly, this recipe is much different from the one I had in Positano, which was the traditional potato version.  And, no, I did not have three helpings of (gratis) Lemoncello like that we, the obvious Americans, were offered that evening in Italy when I threw this together the other night. But honestly, this version was really quite incredible (brown butter, hello!) and brought back the incredible sensory memory of an unforgettable summer in Italy.

Ricotta Gnocchi
thank you, Gourmet

2 cups whole-milk ricotta (1 lb)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 oz), divided
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 (2-inch) rosemary sprig

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.  Shape dough on a well-floured surface with lightly floured hands into 2 (1-inch-thick) ropes. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces with a lightly floured knife. Put in 1 layer on a lightly floured parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook gnocchi in 2 batches in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water), adding a few at a time to pot and stirring occasionally, until cooked through (cut one in half to check), 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain in colander.

Meanwhile, cook butter with rosemary in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Toss gnocchi with brown butter in skillet and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 10:03 am

    I’ve always thought making gnocchi is so complicated but you made it much simple. I can’t wait to try this recipe.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • November 2, 2010 1:43 pm

      It was shockingly easy! My little gnoochi bits look a little “rustic” and uneven, but that’s cooking character for you! Hope you enjoy.

  2. Katie permalink
    November 3, 2010 10:36 am

    My mouth is watering as I read this! I’m lucky that, as the roommate, I get to sample all the deliciousness!

  3. Helen permalink
    December 14, 2010 1:03 pm

    OMG these look divine and this might help me get over my weird distate for Ricotta! Going to have to try these out soon:)

    • December 14, 2010 1:17 pm

      So funny! I think of you every time I use ricotta 🙂 this recipe rids it of the odd texture. I think you’ll like it!

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